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Cable Compendium: a guide to the week’s submarine and terrestrial developments

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29 Oct 2021

Rakuten Mobile has announced the conclusion of a joint construction agreement with NTT Communications Corporation, KDDI Corporation and SoftBank Corp for the deployment of a high-capacity fibre-optic submarine cable aiming to connect Hokkaido and Akita Prefectures in Japan. The new cable will stretch around 770km and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Leveraging the latest optical WDM transmission systems, the fibre-optic submarine cable will have a design capacity of more than 160Tbps.

All of the funding required for the deployment of the N0r5ke Viking cable has now been secured, N0r5ke Fibre AS has revealed. Earlier this month, the company issued a NOK150 million (USD17.9 million) senior secured bond maturing in May 2023, with Arctic Securities acting as manager. The 810km N0r5ke Viking submarine cable will traverse along the coast of Western Norway from Trondheim to Bergen, with twelve landing points along the way. The system will feature 192 fibres and is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in December 2022. The deployment of a 15km terrestrial fibre link from Lefdal Mine Datacentre to Aheim commenced in June 2021, while N0r5ke Fibre inked a 20-year indefeasible right of use (IRU) contract with an unnamed ‘top tier European telecom company’ in October 2021.

CanArctic Inuit Networks has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Norway’s Bulk Fiber Networks to collaborate on joint infrastructure for CanArctic’s SednaLink Fibre system and Bulk’s Leif Erikson cable project, SaltWire writes. As part of the agreement, the two companies will cooperate on the nearshore cable segment and the common landing point for the systems near Happy Valley-Goose Bay. CanArctic’s SednaLink cable will run 1,904km from Sheshatshiu (located in Newfoundland and Labrador Province) to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut (Canada’s northernmost territory) with two branches serving Nunatsiavut communities. It will connect to Bulk’s Leif Erikson network, which will traverse 4,200km of the North Atlantic to provide the shortest route between North America and the Nordics; earlier this month, Bulk Fiber Network began the feasibility study for the Leif Erikson cable project, in partnership with WFN Strategies. The network will allow CanArctic to bring fibre-optic internet into the coastal Labrador community of Rigolet, offering services to the communities of Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish, Nain and the mine at Voisey’s before heading to Iqaluit. The cable will also allow connections to the High Arctic, with a possible extension to Thule, Greenland. Phase 2 of the SednaLink project, meanwhile, will extend the system to the High Arctic and Northwest Passage connecting to communities along with the Baffin Islands in 2024-2025. The two companies are also in talks to construct more cable paths between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Montreal.

A new cable fault has been detected on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) system, VnExpress writes. The issue was located on the S1I branch connecting Vietnam to Hong Kong. The USD560 million AAG stretches more than 20,000km connecting Southeast Asia with the US, passing through Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Since its inception, the system has experienced numerous faults, the most recent one being in August 2021 (with the cable fault repaired on 10 October 2021). A further two errors on the S1H branch of the Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable between Vietnam and Singapore are scheduled to be fixed by 14 November.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has announced the launch of its shortest terrestrial fibre route between the East and West coasts of Africa across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), connecting submarine cable landing points in Mombasa (Kenya) to Muanda (DRC). Following the completion of the terrestrial route, LIT has established a new global internet transit route between Asia and the US via Africa, avoiding high-risk bottlenecks in the Middle East and Europe.

Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has deployed Ciena WaveLogic 5 Extreme 800G coherent optical technology to connect data centres, submarine cable landing stations and telecom exchanges in various regions across the Sultanate in order to accommodate the increase in network traffic. Omantel claims the upgrade is ‘the first rollout of 800Gbps wavelengths in the MENA region’.

Russian telecom operator Rostelecom has signed an agreement with the government of the Murmansk region to build what it claims would be ‘the first data centre infrastructure to be deployed inside the Artic Circle’. The facility in the Kola Peninsula will represent an investment of RUB300 million (USD4.27 million) and is due to come online in 2022 with construction works set to begin before the end of 2021 or early next year.

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