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

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2 Sep 2022

The Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector is conducting a 120-day initial review of an application for the deployment of Firmina – a private, non-common carrier submarine fibre-optic cable connecting the US, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina – in US territorial waters. The system will comprise a main trunk from Myrtle Beach (South Carolina, US) to Las Toninas (Argentina), with two branching units (BUs) connecting branches to Praia Grande (Brazil) and Punta del Este (Uruguay). In addition, there are two planned BUs, one with a stubbed branch pointing towards Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic and another towards Fortaleza (Brazil). The main trunk will have a total length of 13,413km and will consist of 16 fibre pairs, while the branch to Praia Grande will comprise 24 fibre pairs (580km), Punta del Este (twelve fibre pairs, 524km), Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic (twelve fibre pairs) and Fortaleza (16 fibre pairs). Each fibre pair will have a total design capacity of approximately 15Tbps (for a total of approximately 240Tbps).

HFC Bank has partnered with FINTEL for a multi-million USD investment in the Southern Cross NEXT cable system, which is aiming to provide connectivity between New Zealand, Australia and the US, and featuring branching units to Fiji, Kiribati and Tokelau. The 13,700km Southern Cross NEXT cable comprises four fibre pairs and will provide 72Tbps of total design capacity; it features Alcatel Submarine Networks’ WSS ROADM units and the latest generation of submarine repeaters and is designed to be adaptable to future technology developments. Consisting of three diverse submarine cable routes, more than 20 access points, and over 43,000km, the Southern Cross ecosystem supports high capacity and low latency routes between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tokelau, Kiribati, Hawaii and the US west coast.

Tusass (TELE-POST Greenland) has revealed that the fault that was detected on the Greenland Connect cable system earlier this month has now been fixed. The system experienced an issue which was described as ‘a power failure on the cable, which impairs operational safety’, with repair works commencing on 21 August.

The Bangladeshi government will award licences to three private companies to establish, maintain and operate submarine cables. The companies that have received the green light from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) are Summit Communications, Cdnet Communications and Metacore Subcom. According to the BTRC’s guideline, the firms must deposit a licence awarding fee of BDT100 million (USD1.03 million) and an annual licence fee of BDT30 million and must roll out cables within 48 months of licence award. Currently, state-run Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) is the sole company permitted to connect the country to the rest of the world via submarine cables. A total of six operators had applied for the concessions, including Fiber@Home, Mango Teleservices and Summit Communications.

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Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Fiji, Greenland, Kiribati, New Zealand, Tokelau, United States, Uruguay, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Fiji International Telecommunications (FINTEL), Tusass (TELE Greenland)