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

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22 Jul 2022

NEC Corporation has been contracted by Seren Juno Network – a joint company established by NTT Group, Mitsui and JA Mitsui Leasing (JAML) – to build a trans-Pacific submarine fibre-optic cable called JUNO, connecting the US and Japan. 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 end-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.

TIM’s international services arm Sparkle has announced the activation of spectrum capacity it has acquired on the Monet submarine cable system connecting Boca Raton in Florida (US) to Fortaleza and Sao Paulo in Brazil. By adding Monet to its Atlantic routes, Sparkle further enhances its Tier-1 Seabone global IP transit service and its capacity solutions, providing five diversified routes between North and South America. Sparkle’s American fibre-optic network now features 56 PoPs across the US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, a widespread presence in Brazil and a new open and neutral landing and connectivity hub in Panama. The 10,556km Monet system between the US and Brazil (activated in December 2017) is owned by a consortium comprising Angola Cables, Google, Algar Telecom and Antel.

PLDT has formally inaugurated the JUPITER cable landing station in Daet, Camarines Norte (the Philippines). Jojo G. Gendrano, PLDT and Smart FVP and head of Enterprise Business Group, said: ‘We are grateful to the local government of Camarines Norte for the support that they have extended to make the landing of JUPITER a success … The JUPITER cable system serves as an international highway for global data traffic to reach the Philippines. It is expected to exponentially boost the country’s international capacity to the US and Japan, further encourage the global trade of digital services, and as a result propel the country’s digital economy.’ The JUPITER submarine cable system links Maruyama and Shima in Japan with Los Angeles in the US (RFS in 2020), with a branch to Daet in the Philippines. The 14,000km JUPITER network utilises ROADM which employs wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology, providing a greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers as well as optimised connectivity to data centres on the West Coast of the US.

India’s Expert Appraisal Committee under the Ministry of Forests has recommended Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance for the Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) submarine cable system, which will directly connect Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and India. The authority has given its conditional approval to the landings at Mumbai and Chennai; regarding Mumbai, the Committee cautioned project leader NTT that the ‘cable laying and associated facilities shall not hinder fishing activity in the area and necessary precautions and awareness shall be made’. The EAC also suggested that considering the increasing number of international cables landing on the Chennai coast, the government shall make an appropriate corridor for the laying of such cables in the coastal area for better management and to avoid conflict with other stakeholders. The new 8,100km MIST cable will deliver a design capacity of more than 216Tbps and is scheduled to be completed by 2023. The system is being developed by Orient Link (OLL) – a joint venture of NTT Group, the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan’s ICT and Postal Services (JICT) and WEN Capital (WEN) – with NEC Corporation (NEC) selected to deploy the cable.

A-2-Sea Solutions has announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s first automated x-ray camera system for inspecting submarine cable joints, called DRAX. The fully automated system uses x-ray imaging technology to provide a high-quality, 3D view of the cable joint. DRAX is designed to significantly reduce inspection times (from hours to minutes), while also eliminating the need for film and related hazardous waste. A-2-Sea Solutions Technical Director Andrew Levins said: ‘DRAX has the potential to redefine productivity in this sector. With traditional analogue techniques, each joint inspection can take up to four hours, as it takes time for the film to develop and assessments to be made. On-site, this can often mean that a vessel has to remain on standby for an extended period, waiting for the all-clear from the inspection team. In a cable manufacturing environment, inspection delays can result in production line stoppages.’

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