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

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29 Jul 2022

Cypriot telecoms operator CYTA has inked a deal securing its participation in the USD850 million East Med Corridor (EMC) submarine cable system. The new submarine cable will connect Singapore and France, with landing points in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy. Construction work is expected to begin next autumn and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025. The new cable will be developed by MENA HUB, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Telecom Company (stc), Greek telecoms and satellite applications company TTSA and power utility Public Power Company (PPC). Cyta CEO Andreas Neocleous said: ‘We are investing in the new international EMC cable system to further enhance the quality communication experience of our customers. The new route will multiply the capacity of CYTA’s interconnection with the rest of the world, ensuring even higher speeds and data volumes for our customers. It will also provide resilience and redundancy to the country’s digital connectivity, with many long-term commercial and economic benefits for CYTA and the country.’ As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in June 2022 Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed on the main terms of a deal to set up a joint venture to lay the fibre-optic cable between Europe with Asia, with CYTA’s participation pending final corporate approvals at the time.

The 8,100km Myanmar/Malaysia-India-Singapore Transit (MIST) will land at the Santhome beach (Chennai, India), following the issuance of a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) permit by the Union government. Of the total length of the international submarine cable system, 523.5km will be laid along the Tamil Nadu coastal waters around twelve nautical miles offshore. Its entry at the beach will terminate at the proposed beach manhole to be constructed near the Foreshore Estate Promenade Road at MRC Nagar. In Mumbai, the MIST system will land at Versova beach in Andheri West. The new 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.

The Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) undersea cable, which connects nine countries and territories in the region, has experienced an issue on its S3 branch, with the fault located around 427km from China. The fault was detected on 26 July 2022 and it is not currently clear how long it will take for the cable to be fixed. Previously, the 10,400km APG cable experienced a problem on the S3 segment on 29 October 2021, causing a loss of connection from Vietnam to Japan and the US.

Malaysia-based OMS Group has launched CS Cable Vigilance, the fifth cable ship in its fleet. OMS Group CEO and Managing Director Ronnie Lim said the CS Cable Vigilance will be used for repairing cable systems in the Atlantic region. The vessel was previously known as Caledonian Vigilance and was retrofitted by Gdansk Remontowa shipyards. Elsewhere, OMS Group is said to be weighing a listing on the Kuala Lumpur bourse next year, with expectations to raise around USD300 million in the initial public offering (IPO); the company is seeking a valuation of over USD1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has laid fibre-optic cables on Padma Bridge’s lower deck, to reduce the latency between the capital and the submarine cable landing station in Kuakata. Previously, Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) companies had to lay around 605km of fibre-optic cables to connect Dhaka to the landing station housing the country’s second submarine cable, SeaMeWe-5. According to BTCL Managing Director Md Rafiqul Matin, following the latest deployment, the distance has been reduced to 295km, with latency between Dhaka and Singapore decreasing to 43 milliseconds (48 milliseconds previously).

Wave Broadband has completed the deployment of its 156km Nestucca Route backhaul network. Following the rollout, Wave has linked the submarine cable landing station in Pacific City (Oregon) with the company’s data centre ring in Hillsboro (Oregon) – which currently connects six data centres. Businesses utilising the fibre ring or the landing station can now leverage Wave’s 12,000km fibre network to transmit data along the West Coast.

Infrastructure investor I-Squared Capital is said to be mulling a bid for Lumen Technologies’ European fibre network by the start of next month, Seeking Alpha writes. I-Squared is reportedly looking to combine the network – valued at around USD1.5 billion-USD2 billion – with its EXA Infrastructure business. According to the report, other infrastructure funds – including Ardian Infrastructure, Eurofiber, Macquarie and Wren House – are also said to be interested in the Lumen assets.

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