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

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19 Aug 2022

Japanese telecoms equipment manufacturer NEC is planning to submit a proposal for the construction contract of the Humboldt cable system aiming to connect Valparaiso (Chile) to Auckland (New Zealand) and Sydney (Australia). Roberto Murakami, CTO and head of contract management at NEC Latin America, told BNamericas that his company is now working on the project details and expects to present the proposition in September: ‘We are working [on the proposition]. There are at least three large companies in the world that have a lot of footprint and expertise in the area, there is competition. But we are working hard to win this project’. TeleGeography notes that Chile’s state-owned entity Desarrollo Pais and H2 Cable, a subsidiary of Singapore-based BW Digital, issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the construction of the submarine system in July. The initial design of the 14,810km Humboldt cable includes between four and eight fibre-optic pairs, with a transmission capacity of 10Tbps-20Tbps; the system is slated to enter operations in early 2025.

SubCom has commenced submarine cable installation operations for the America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) system in Irish waters, off the coast of County Mayo. A total of three vessels will be working on the project – DR Defiant, MV James and CS Durable, with the latter of these tasked with pre-lay grapnel run and cable installation works. SubCom advises that these activities should take 39 days to complete.

Dhiraagu has secured the lease land for the establishment of a new cable landing station in Hulhumale, which is scheduled to house Maldives’ branch to the planned SeaMeWe-6 cable system. Dhiraagu states that the 19,200km SeaMeWe-6 submarine cable system is planned to connect Maldives directly to the global hubs in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe; the system is currently scheduled to link eleven countries from Singapore to France and is expected to be completed by Q1 2025.

The SeaMeWe-5 submarine cable system extending from Singapore to France and Italy has been damaged at the junction of the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea near Egypt, causing disruptions in Pakistan and other countries. A statement issued by TransWorld Home – the company operating the cable in Pakistan – said that the disruption was due to a ‘fibre cut in the terrestrial network’. A senior TransWorld official explained that the cable is largely submarine, except for a 480km overland stretch in Egypt, which was rolled out in order to avoid disturbance caused by the movement of ships in the Suez Canal.

Lastly, the Mauritanian government is reportedly mulling to greenlight the construction of a terrestrial cable linking the country with Morocco across Western Sahara, thus adding capacity to the existing subsea route, ECSaharaui writes. If approved, the 1,600km cable will be laid by Maroc Telecom, the parent company of Mauritanian incumbent Moov Mauritel.

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Australia, Chile, Ireland, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Western Sahara, Dhivehi Raajjeyge Gulhun (Dhiraagu), Maroc Telecom (IAM), Maroc Telecom (W. Sahara), Moov Mauritel, NEC, SubCom, Transworld Associates (Pakistan)