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

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18 Mar 2022

The Equiano cable is expected to land in Lome (Togo) today (18 March), sources familiar with the matter confirmed to local news source Togo First. Togo will thus become the first African country to host Google’s submarine cable, with planned landings in Namibia (May 2022) and Melkbosstrand (Cape Town, South Africa) currently slated for June. The new system – which will run from Portugal to South Africa along the African coast of the Atlantic Ocean – is being deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and will be Google’s fourth private cable, following the deployment of Junior (2018), Curie (2020) and Dunant (2021). The Equiano cable is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Cheikh Bakhoum, General Manager of Senegal’s infrastructure agency the Agence De l’Informatique de l’Etat (ADIE), has provided an update on the progress of the Senegal Horn of Africa Regional Express (SHARE) cable deployment. The official has revealed that the rollout of the terrestrial segment from the beach manhole to the cable landing stations is due to be finalised by the end of March 2022, while the cable landing stations are to be upgraded and renewed by the end of March or in April 2022. Financed by the Senegalese state and operated by the 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.

An application was filed by Hawaiian Telcom (HTI), Hawaiian Telcom Services Company (HTSC), and Level 3 Telecom of Hawaii (Level 3) for authority to renew the cable landing licence for the Hawaiian Islands Fiber Network (HIFN) for an additional 25 years. The 529km HIFN connects the six major islands of O’ahu, Kauai, Moloka’i, Lanai, Maui, and Hawai‘I, with its initial 25-year licence term scheduled to expire on 27 June 2022. The HIFN has eight interisland cable segments with eight landing sites; all landing stations are owned by HTI (except the Kawaihae Data Center at Spencer Beach, Hawaii, which is jointly owned by HTI and HTSC). Meanwhile, the applicants disclosed that the Keawaula landing station is inactive and the cable segment connecting it to Makaha is not operational. Level 3 and HTI each own twelve fibre strands on each segment, while HTI owns all eight fibre strands on Segments D1 and E1.

Internet connectivity in Vietnam has been fully restored, after repair work on the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable system was completed on 13 March 2022. The cable fault was detected on the branch connecting Vietnam and Hong Kong in late October 2021. The AAG is a 20,000km submarine cable system connecting Southeast Asia with the US mainland across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii.

Zayo Group Holdings and Infinera have announced the successful completion of what they claim is ‘the world’s longest known terrestrial 800G optical wavelength in a commercial network’ at 1,044.51km. The Zayo-owned fibre route stretches from Springville (Utah, US) to Reno (Nevada) and is lit and powered by Infinera’s ICE6 800G coherent technology.

SUNeVision, the technology arm of Sun Hung Kai Properties, has announced that it won the tender for a site in Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong. This site will be used to develop SUNeVision’s second landing station for international submarine cables, following its first landing station, HKIS-1, which was launched last year; the two neighbouring sites will offer path diversity and expansion capacities for upcoming new submarine cable growth.

Paratus Namibia will be launching its carrier-neutral data centre (DC) in Windhoek (Namibia) in August 2022. The new facility, named Armada, will be the first carrier-neutral and the largest DC facility in Namibia. It will complement the Equiano cable, which is slated for landing in Namibia in May 2022 and for which Paratus has already built the landing station. Paratus is investing NAD123 million (USD8.2 million) to construct the Armada DC facility, which is built on the Breakwater Campus and houses two separate colocation data halls (DC1 and DC2).

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Hong Kong, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, United States, Vietnam, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Google (Alphabet), Hawaiian Telcom, Infinera, Level 3 Communications, Paratus (Namibia), Zayo Group