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

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14 Jan 2022

Infrastructure subsea operator AFR-IX telecom has announced that it is deploying Medusa Submarine Cable System,a new generation submarine cable in the Mediterranean. The system will have a total length of 8,700km and will include 16 landing points in nine countries: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, Greece and Egypt. It will feature 24 fibre pairs with design capacity of 20Tbps per fibre pair. The cable system will be operated on an open access basis, subject to local regulations. All Medusa Atlantic and West Mediterranean landings will be installed and operational by 2024, while the East Mediterranean landings will be ready for service (RFS) by 2025.

Inligo Networks is planning to deploy a submarine cable system linking Singapore to the US via Indonesia’s Java Sea. Spanning a distance of approximately 18,000km, the Asia Connect System (ACC1) will feature landings in Singapore (Singapore), Medan, Batam, Jakarta, Manado and Makassar (Indonesia), Dili (Timor-Leste), Darwin (Australia) and Guam and Los Angeles (the US). ACC1 design has been completed with construction work scheduled to commence in 2022. In Australia, the system will also interconnect with the Unite Cable System, a new terrestrial high-capacity cable system linking Darwin and Adelaide (Stage 1), with future connections to Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney (Stage 2). The Unite network is designed to support a minimum of 40×400Gbps per fibre pair, with Inligo set to commence construction of Stage 1 in 2022, while works on the Adelaide-Melbourne/Canberra/Sydney link is scheduled to start in 2023.

HMN Tech has announced that it has completed the marine deployment of the Senegal Horn of Africa Regional Express (SHARE) submarine cable system, with landings in both Senegal and Cape Verde. Financed by the Senegalese state and operated by the Agence De l’Informatique de l’Etat (ADIE), the 720km system features a total design capacity of 16Tbps between Dakar (Senegal) and Praia (Cape Verde); the cable will also supplement onward connectivity to Europe and South America via other international submarine cables that land in Cape Verde. Future connectivity to other nations in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is also possible by incorporation of a branching unit into the SHARE cable system. The SHARE system is set to be RFS in Q1 2022.

Gambia’s Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority (PURA) has announced a plan to ensure the availability of a second fibre cable and extra backup facilities in lieu of the frequent fibre cuts Gambia is experiencing. PURA said: ‘The authorities, operators, Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI), and the government of the Gambia are exploring other options of making sure that Gambia has a second fibre cable backup considering the impact it has on national security, economy and social activities. The authority in consultation with the Ministry determined that all operators must have a permanent backup of traffic on the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable to ensure services are not disrupted when ACE fibre is faulty.’ The ACE system is currently experiencing a fault and all traffic in Gambia was routed via a backup route via Sonatel’s network in Senegal, though the fibre network also encountered technical issues which resulted in Gambia experiencing an internet blackout for four hours.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that a fault has been detected in the SeaMeWe-4 cable system. The issue has been located in the Indian Ocean. Work is underway to fully restore internet services at the earliest, the PTA said.

The Svalbard Undersea Cable System linking the island of Svalbard to mainland Norway is suffering an outage. Space Norway, said in a press release: ‘Troubleshooting has been carried out since the error was discovered, and it was determined that there is a fault in the power supply between 130km and 230km from Longyearbyen and in an area where the cable goes steeply into the deep sea from approximately 300m to approximately 2,700m depth.’ Space Norway is a public limited company, managed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (NFD), that develops and operates space-related infrastructure for the country; it owns and is responsible for the fibre connection between the mainland and Longyearbyen on Svalbard.

Ribbon Communications is supplying elements of its Apollo Optical Networking portfolio to Japan-based IPS. The international connectivity services supplier is using the Apollo optical transmission technology to enable 100GbE service capabilities on its terrestrial and submarine networks connecting customers in Manilla (the Philippines) to Hong Kong and Singapore. IPS will deploy Apollo programmable TM800 muxponder cards on Apollo 9600 series platforms to enable 100GbE service delivery via long-haul submarine cables, some of which exceed 2,500km in length. Mickey Wilf, general manager, APAC and MEA regions at Ribbon, said: ‘Submarine applications must deliver extensive capacity and carry the highest level of communications services on each channel in order to realise cost efficiencies. Our Apollo solution enables IPS to maximise capacity by leveraging dual wavelengths with programmable baud rate and modulation, in conjunction with flexgrid technology.’

Gulf Bridge International (GBI) is deploying Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme, to increase GBI’s Smart Network capacity and performance. GBI’s upgrade with Ciena uses the latest technologies to increase design capacity by 10Tbps, enhance its capabilities, and provide increased flexibility in delivery times. Jamie Jefferies, Vice President and General Manager, International at Ciena, said: ‘Ciena’s WaveLogic technology and software will help GBI create a network that can adapt, self-optimize, and scale to meet customer demands. We understand the importance for GBI to have a programmable and reliable submarine network – especially as the region will soon be hosting the world’s biggest football tournament, which is expected to drive a great deal of video traffic.’

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