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

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15 Jul 2022

NTT Group, Mitsui and JA Mitsui Leasing (JAML) have announced the launch of a new company, Seren Juno Network (Seren), which will be tasked with the construction and operation of a new trans-Pacific submarine cable system linking the US and Japan, called JUNO. Seren will manage the entire project – planning, construction, sales and operations of the network – to provide reliable services for the global business activities of major technology companies, OTTs and telecommunication carriers. The new 10,000km system will land in the Chiba and Mie prefectures in Japan and California (US), with a planned ready for service (RFS) date of 2024. JUNO will feature Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology, enabling the provision of 20 optical fibre pairs (40 cores) per cable, providing maximum capacity of 350Tbps. In addition, the system can alter the amount of bandwidth to each branch route according to demand and in response to customers’ evolving requirements.

An application filed by PTI Pacifica to renew the MTC Interisland Cable System (MICS) for another 25-year term has been granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The MICS cable links the three most populated islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – Saipan, Tinian, and Rota – with each other and with the nearby US territory of Guam. MICS is a high capacity, fibre-optic system approximately 268km in length. It consists of twelve strands (six pairs of fibre) on all segments; system capacity has been upgraded three times since the cable went in service in 1997, with a current cumulative design capacity of 150Gbps. The MICS cable, including each of its CNMI cable landing points, is wholly-owned by PTI Pacifica, which will operate the system on a non-common carrier basis, going forward.

Southern Cross Cables Network (SCCN) has commenced the implementation and testing of 400GbE services across a 15,840km network between Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, claiming a world first for the longest single-span 400GbE services yet achieved on a submarine cable network. Southern Cross worked in collaboration with Ciena to commission and test the services error-free as part of the Southern Cross NEXT commissioning processes.

Farice and Far North Digital (FND) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a joint marketing and sales agreement for fibre-optic connectivity between Japan and Iceland. Farice’s new IRIS submarine cable will provide connectivity between Iceland and Ireland when it enters services in early 2023, while FND’s new Arctic cable connecting Asia (Japan) with Europe (Ireland) through the Northwest Passage is slated for completion in 2026. The parties have agreed to develop a connectivity exchange at their shared landing site in Galway (Ireland); via the exchange, customers will be able to buy direct connectivity between Japan and Iceland, linking the third largest economy in the world and Iceland, which has 100% green and sustainable electricity.

Italian telecommunications company Sparkle has inked a MoU with the Italian navy to improve the protection of submarine communication infrastructure via the development of research activities and shared operating procedures. The agreement provides the possibility of undertaking joint reconnaissance and monitoring activities of Sparkle’s proprietary submarine cables and neighbouring areas. The Italian Navy will also provide cartographic support for the seabed of interest, as well as assistance in emergency operational situations.

Mob Telecom (Mob), part of Mobwire hub which provides internet and broadband services in Brazil and is owned by Alloha Fibra group, has deployed Ciena’s Waveserver 5 platform, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme coherent optics. This network enhancement delivers high-bandwidth connectivity, scaling up to 800Gbps per channel, across several data centres and four cable landing stations in Fortaleza (Brazil).

Lastly, South Africa’s Competition Commission (CompCom) has given its unconditional approval to the proposed acquisition of Network Solutions (EOH-NS) and Hymax by submarine cable operator Seacom. JSE-listed EOH announced in April 2022 that it was selling its EOH-NS and Hymax businesses to Seacom for ZAR144.9 million (USD8.5 million). Seacom CEO Oliver Fortuin said the acquisition forms part of the company’s growth strategy to transform the business into a converged telecommunications provider across Africa.

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Brazil, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Northern Mariana Islands, South Africa, United States, Alloha Fibra, Ciena Corporation, Farice, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NTT (NTT East & NTT West), SEACOM, Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), Telecom Italia Sparkle