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

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17 Jun 2022

Telecom Egypt and AquaComms have inked an agreement covering landing and crossing services for a 2Africa fibre pair in Egypt, which AquaComms has named Europe Middle-East India Connect-1 (EMIC-1). EMIC-1 will land in Ras Ghareb on the Red Sea and Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea, with the two landing stations connected over two diverse terrestrial routes. The new routes are adjacent to the Suez Canal (between Suez and Port Said). Additionally, a third new marine path, the Red Sea Festoon, is being developed linking the Ras Ghareb and Suez landing stations, while a terrestrial connection – the Al Morshedeen route – between Port Said and Suez on the bank of the Suez Canal is under consideration. Upon completion, the 45,000km 2Africa submarine network is expected to be the longest in the world, connecting 46 locations in Africa, Europe and Asia. The system is expected to go live in 2023/2024, delivering a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its approval to an application filed by Hawaiian Telcom (HTI), Hawaiian Telcom Services Company (HTSC), and Level 3 Telecom of Hawaii (Level 3) 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.

Elsewhere, Neutral Networks has been granted a licence to construct, land and operate within the US a private fibre-optic submarine cable network connecting Laredo, Texas (US) and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico). The system, known as the Neutral Networks Laredo Cable (NNLC), will connect Laredo, Texas (US) and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico). The NNLC will consist of three high-capacity, digital fibre-optic cables in a three-duct conduit encased in a pipe located beneath the riverbed of the Rio Grande. Neutral Networks will operate NNLC on a non-common-carrier basis, providing fibre-optic-related solutions to carrier and enterprise customers on particularised terms and conditions pursuant to individualised negotiation.

Infinera has announced that OTEGLOBE, a wholesale carrier in the southeastern Europe region, has selected Infinera’s ICE6 800G coherent solution for its pan-European network. Infinera’s ICE6 delivered up to 16.4Tbps of capacity over OTEGLOBE’s OTEGLOBE Kokkini-Bari system comprising two unrepeatered submarine cables between Greece and Italy, each spanning approximately 350km, which is 60% more capacity than currently available. By deploying Infinera’s ICE6, OTEGLOBE will double capacity in selected parts of its diverse terrestrial backbone network and offer new 400GbE services to its customers. OTEGLOBE’s 21,000km pan-European network spans Greece, the Balkans, Italy, and Eastern and Western Europe, and connects to major European gateways over multiple diverse fibre routes.

MSA Resources (MSAR), a telecommunications infrastructure provider based in Peninsular Malaysia, has selected Ciena to assist in building its Digital Super Highway Network. MSAR will leverage Ciena’s 6500, WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics, and Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller to reach data transmission speeds of 800Gbps and total network capacity of 33.6Tbps per fibre pair. MSAR is currently building a new fibre-optic network from Johor Bahru to Bukit Kayu Hitam with connectivity to all major data centre hubs in Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya, Nusajaya and Johor Bahru. The network will complement its existing network infrastructure, which offers connectivity to all major data centres in Singapore. The target ready for service (RFS) date for Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur and Cyberjaya is August 2022, with connectivity to Bukit Kayu Hitam to follow by the end of 2022.

Omantel and Sub.Co have entered an agreement for connectivity between Oman and various hubs in Europe. Omantel will be providing ultra-high-capacity connectivity from Muscat to Sub.Co’s new PoPs in London, Milan and Marseille. This will effectively extend the Oman Australia Cable (OAC), due to be RFS in Q3 2022, from Australia to Oman and all the way to Europe.

Stockholm-based connectivity provider Arelion (formerly Telia Carrier) is expanding its network infrastructure in Mexico, with plans to open two new PoPs in Guadalajara, BNamericas writes citing Arelion’s Director of Business and Network Development Art Kazmierczak. The company owns and operates seven PoPs in Mexico: two in Monterrey, two in Queretaro, two in Mexico City and one in Merida. Another PoP is slated for launch in Merida shortly. Kazmierczak said: ‘We see the Yucatan Peninsula [where Merida is located] somewhat traditionally underserved, so the investment fits well with our focus of trying to bring connectivity and scale into some of the underserved edge markets on a global basis.’ All the pairs of PoPs are interconnected through a metro fibre and to the company’s backbone network. Dubbed AS1299, Arelion’s backbone currently stretches 70,000km across Europe, North America and Asia.

Lastly, Open Access Data Centres (OADC) has announced deployment of a further nine OADC Edge data centres (DCs) in South Africa. By the end of August, 26 Edge DCs will go live, growing to 100 by the end of 2022.

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