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

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1 Apr 2022

PCCW Global and PEACE Cable International Network have jointly announced the completion of the PEACE Cable system’s Mediterranean segment (PEACE-MED), which is now certified ready for service (RFS). The PEACE-MED sub-section is a 3,200km submarine cable that connects Egypt to France, with additional landing points in Cyprus and Malta. PEACE-MED’s cable landings in Yeroskipou (Cyprus), Abu Talat (Egypt), Marseille (France) and Mellieha (Malta) were all completed during the course of 2021, while stub branching units have been reserved for direct landing points to other countries thereby providing additional access options and opportunities for the entire Mediterranean region. The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) refers to its capacity on the cable as ARSINOE, while GO Malta calls the 55km branch to Malta LaValette. Further, PCCW Global also revealed a significant deployment on the PEACE cable system between Marseille, Cyprus and Abu Talat. By leveraging Infinera’s ICE technology on the GX Series Compact Modular Platform, PCCW Global is able to reach individual wavelength speeds of 650Gbps resulting in more capacity, with less hardware, and providing up to 25Tbps per fibre pair.

Telkom Kenya and the PEACE Cable company have announced the landing of the PEACE Cable system in Mombasa (Kenya). The PEACE Cable will connect France to Pakistan via the Europe-Asia route, and Mombasa via an Indian Ocean route, providing the most direct connectivity route from Asia and East Africa to Europe, as well as reducing existing communication delays between the continents. The PEACE submarine cable will feature 16Tbps per fibre pair with 200Gbps per single wavelength.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) has acquired a fibre pair on the Equiano subsea cable, allowing LIT to transport up to 12Tbps of traffic. The Equiano 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). LIT plans to interconnect the Equiano landing stations in Sesimbra (Portugal), Lome (Togo), Lagos (Nigeria), Swakopmund (Namibia), Rupert’s Bay (Saint Helena) and Melkbosstrand (South Africa) to its East-West network across Africa, creating a new global IP route between Asia, Africa and the US. The Equiano cable is expected to be RFS in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Telconet and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have executed a system supply contract, which is now in force, and have started construction of the Carnival Submarine Network-1 (CSN-1) between Ecuador, Panama, Colombia and the west coast of Florida (US). The 4,500km CSN-1 submarine cable will complement the Pacific and Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) and could feature potential landings in other countries within Central and South America. The submarine cable will utilise ASN’s SDM Open-Cable technology solutions.

Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) has awarded a contract to Prysmian Group to supply, install and test two submarine fibre-optic cable links in Alaska. The SEALink project undertaken by AP&T’s subsidiary AP&T Wireless (APTW) will improve communications in south-east Alaska, bringing broadband to rural areas that are currently unserved. The SEALink project will include the rollout of a 340km submarine fibre-optic cable from Prince of Wales Island (Petersburg) to Juneau, with an overland crossing on Mitkof Island through the community of Petersburg. The project will also comprise the deployment of local terrestrial networks which will provide high speed broadband access to all premises in Kasaan and Coffman Cove in Alaska by 2022. The cable will be produced at Prysmian’s Nordenham (Germany) plant; delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, with provisional acceptance by the end of 2022. The turnkey project will be managed by the Projects BU. In October 2020 APTW was selected to receive a USD21.545 million grant via the USDA Rural Utility Service’s ReConnect grant programme, while AP&T will provide over USD7 million in matching funds.

3Red8 today announced plans for a US domestic fibre-optic transport network from coast to coast as well as from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Under the first phase of the deployment, the company will connect the DC metro area with key endpoints in North and South Carolina, stretching south to Myrtle Beach and west to Asheville. The routes are expected to be RFS in 2023. Under the second phase, two cross-country routes will be rolled out by the end of 2027. The east-west route would connect Wilmington (NC) with Los Angeles (CA), while the north-south route would connect Pembina (ND) with Texas City (TX). Along the way, the proposed network passes 18 states.

The Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) traversing Africa’s east and south coasts has been upgraded using Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optical technology, to increase capacity and performance in sub-Saharan Africa. With this deployment, EASSy is doubling network capacity from 18Tbps to 36Tbps across the system, which links South Africa with Djibouti via landing points in Mozambique, Madagascar, the Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan.

Global Cloud Xchange (GCX) has announced an expansion of its partnership with Equinix to provide their customers enhanced route diversity and availability of their products and services in the Middle East region. With this announcement, GCX enhances access to its Middle East network through a new PoP in the Equinix data centre in Muscat (Oman).

Elsewhere, GTT Communications has partnered with Arc Solutions to consolidate and expand GTT’s service reach across the Middle East. Underpinning the partnership is a network-to-network interconnect (NNI) between GTT’s global Tier 1 network and Arc Solutions’ Middle East network at the Datamena facility in Dubai. The new partnership creates better economies of scale for GTT’s enterprise service offering in the Middle East, which includes internet services and managed SD-WAN, leveraging Arc Solutions’ point-of-presence locations in UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan.

Lastly, data centre developer CyrusOne has gone private after completing its USD15 billion sale to investment firms KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). CyrusOne operates more than 50 data centres and four million square feet of data centre space across the globe.

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