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

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9 Sep 2022

3i Infrastructure has completed its USD512 million deal to acquire a 100% stake in Bermuda-based Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), which claims to be the owner of the world’s largest private subsea fibre optic network. The transaction closed following receipt of all required regulatory approvals. GCX currently owns 66,000km of submarine cables spanning 46 countries from North America to Asia, with a particularly strong position on the Europe-Asia and Intra-Asia routes.

Sarawak-based telecoms company, irix, which is part of PP Telecommunication, has launched its 700km Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS) subsea link and its Tier IV data centre, irix DC. The telco says that the dual-launch heralds ‘the beginning of a new era in improved internet connectivity for all Sarawakians and residents of Borneo’. The cable connects Batam (Indonesia) to Kuching in Sarawak, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. The system comprises six fibre pairs with 8Tbps per pair for a total system capacity of 48Tbps.

Vocus is ready to commence deployment of a submarine cable that will connect two existing cable systems, the North West Cable System (NWCS) and the Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC). ITNews reports that Jarrod Nink, chief executive for wholesale and international at Vocus, told the Submarine Networks World conference in Singapore that the link, codenamed Project Highclere, has ‘now moved into the deployment stage’, adding ‘the cable has been manufactured and loaded onto the ship, ready to drop into the Indian Ocean.’

Bermuda-based Bermuda Cinturion Corp has signed a final landing party agreement to partner with Lightstorm to bring the first carrier-neutral open access cable landing station (CLS) to India. The Cinturion-backed Trans Europe Asia System (TEAS) seeks to create a telecoms corridor between India, the Middle East and Europe.

In a related development, Grid Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Independent Power Transmission Operator of Greece (IPTO), will act as the TEAS landing partner for Greece. George Psyrris, director of Grid Telecom, commented: ‘Grid Telecom currently offers diverse fibre connectivity between the island of Crete and the Greek mainland, in addition to its network infrastructure abroad, leveraging its position as an emerging, open-access hub in the broader BalkanMed region.’

In terms of terrestrial developments, Nokia has signed a frame agreement with Eurofiber Group, which has a presence in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. Eric Kuisch, COO at Eurofiber Group, said: ‘Eurofiber has an ambitious growth agenda in Western Europe. A fully integrated high capacity DWDM network, and future-proof, highly secure datacentre equipment are main technological enablers to realise these ambitions.’ In total, the company presides over around 60,000km of fibre.

International network service provider RETN has announced the opening of a new DWDM route in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Its Riga–Gotland–Stockholm route is said to be around 30km shorter than any comparable routes and goes via Ventspils, the sixth-largest city in Latvia. The project was started in 2021 and has now been successfully implemented, tested, and is up and running for RETN customers in the region.

Elsewhere, the Ukrainian representative office of RETN has announced the launch of a new Lutsk–Monastyryshche DWDM route to cater for additional data traffic from the south of Ukraine, bypassing Kyiv, and creating a direct route between Odesa-Vinnytsia-Ternopil-Lutsk-Warsaw. RETN notes that the new route is the fourth border crossing built by RETN to ensure resiliency and route diversity between Ukraine and the rest of the world. Olena Lutsenko, Managing Director of RETN Ukraine, commented: ‘It is crucial to continue investing in the Ukrainian telecom industry, now and in the future, as we view it as our responsibility, to keep the internet running for all Ukrainians. We increased capacity in the first weeks of the war on the route Odesa-Chisinau-Bucharest-Budapest and now with the new route RETN has implemented additional redundant international backbone data transmission, providing the people of Odesa and Mykolaiv regions better internet connectivity to the world.’

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