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

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11 Mar 2022

Bulk Fiber Networks has completed the construction of the terrestrial segment of the HAVSIL system. The new diverse route – which runs along the west coast of Denmark and had to be drilled 40 metres under the seabed of the Thyborn Canal – is now ready for service (RFS), with the company claiming that it is ‘the shortest route connecting Norway with continental Europe’. It was selected by the Norwegian Communications Authority as the new secure fibre system for the nation’s international data traffic. Arelion, (formerly Telia Carrier) meanwhile signed as an anchor customer and will be first to transit international data and services over the new route. The HAVSIL system consists of a submarine segment between Kristiansand in Norway and Hanstholm in Denmark crossing Skagerrak (the strait separating the two countries) and a terrestrial segment connecting to Esbjerg; the system has 192 fibres and the end points include Bulk’s N01 data centre campus in Kristiansand (Norway) and the DK01 data centre campus in Esbjerg (Denmark). All are now fully completed and certified RFS.

A second submarine fibre-optic cable – which will be connected to the Pakistan East Africa Cable Express (PEACE) system – has landed in Perseverance, an island on the north-eastern coast of Mahe (Seychelles). The connection to the PEACE system is being undertaken by Seychelles Cable Systems (SCS) at a cost of USD20 million, with the link expected to go live in May 2022. The principal secretary for ICT Benjamin Choppy told reporters: ‘For over ten years, we had only one [cable] and this presented a risk for us if anything happens, especially today. If you look at the amount of traffic that we have on cable, over 95% is on the SEAS cable. If something went wrong it would be catastrophic.’ Choppy said that the second cable is a much bigger system at around 15,000km and links directly with Marseilles in France; ‘This means operators can access the capacity directly from Europe compared to now when they have to go through Dar es Salaam and then move to another cable for their other destination.’

Fibre ISP Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions has confirmed its participation in the South-East Asia Hainan-Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X) project. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Converge revealed that it is a party to a Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA), effective on 4 March 2022 (the coming into force of the C&MA is still subject to certain conditions precedent which include securing certain regulatory consents and approvals). The project will see the construction of a fibre-optic submarine cable system connecting Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hainan (an island province of China) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Other partners in the project development include CMCC Infrastructure 3, PP Telecommunication and China United Network Communications Group Company.

PLDT has commenced cable-laying operations in Dipolog City, in a bid to fortify its fibre-optic network in Mindanao, the Manilla Bulletin writes. The new segment will connect PLDT’s submarine fibre-optic cable from the municipality of Zamboanguita in the Negros Oriental province and improve services for Zamboanga del Norte and the entire Mindanao island. When completed, the project will add more than 700km to the company’s fibre network.

Lastly, EllaLink has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with DE-CIX, following a similar agreement inked with Group IP Telecom. Via the new ecosystem, EllaLink will provide the data transport, while IP Telecom will enable connections from companies located in Brazil to the transport ecosystem and IXs in Europe, accessing internet service and content provider networks, as well as enterprise networks, connected to DE-CIX. Vincent Gatineau, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at EllaLink, commented: ‘As we operate in the B2B market, partnerships are key for the high-speed data transport between Fortaleza and Sines offered by the EllaLink cable to content-generating companies, whatever their application – games, financial systems, streaming – to maintain performance until it reaches other European and South American destinations.’

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China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Norway, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand, Converge ICT Solutions, DE-CIX, Ellalink, PLDT Inc. (incl. Smart Communications and Sun Cellular)