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

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16 Sep 2022

The America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) linking the US to Denmark has now landed in Ireland, AquaComms CEO Nigel Bayliff has revealed. TeleGeography notes that AquaComms acts as the overall system administrator for the Havfrue cable, and has dubbed the portion of the cable where it has ownership (Denmark, Ireland and US segments) as AEC-2. The AEC-2 portion of the cable connecting New Jersey in the US to Denmark was certified ready for service (RFS) in December 2020, becoming the first new subsea system directly linking North America to Denmark and the Nordic region in 20 years. The executive also added that the AEC-3 cable which will connect Boston (US) to Slough (UK) will be complete ‘soon’. It is the company’s third Trans-Atlantic subsea cable and is expected to launch in 2023.

N0r5ke Fibre AS has revealed Phase 2 of its digital infrastructure build-out in Norway. Under the plan, the company will expand the N0r5ke Viking cable with a 900km submarine cable between Bergen and Oslo, and a 500km terrestrial fibre cable between Oslo and Trondheim, thus creating a 2,200km dark fibre ring. Both new cables will contain a minimum of 192 fibres. The 810km N0r5ke Viking submarine cable will traverse along the coast of Western Norway from Trondheim to Bergen, with twelve landing points along the way.

PLDT is set to commence the construction of a cable landing station and a submarine cable system before the end of 2022. The company is aiming to complete the construction of its fourth cable landing station in Baler (Aurora) – which ‘will supplement PLDT’s international gateway in the northern and eastern borders’ – in 2024. Elsewhere, the Asia Direct Cable (ADC) system linking China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is slated for completion by the end of 2023. The ADC consortium – including PLDT and Singtel, CAT, China Telecom, China Unicom, SoftBank Corp, Tata Communications and Viettel, selected NEC to construct the 9,400km ADC cable system, which landed in Quy Nhon, located in the province of Binh Dinh (Vietnam), in April 2022.

Vocus has revealed that it is ready to start deployment of a submarine cable that will connect two existing cable systems, the North West Cable System (NWCS) and the Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC). Jarrod Nink, Chief Executive of Wholesale and International at Vocus, told the Submarine Networks World conference that the link, named Project Highclere, has ‘now moved into the deployment stage’. According to regulatory filings, the system will stretch from an existing stub of the NWCS system (approximately 41km north of Port Hedland) to an offshore existing branching unit of the ASC cable (approximately 450km west of the Exmouth Peninsula). In addition, the system will comprise ‘two branching units and two cables from the new cable to the edge of the petroleum safety zone of the proposed Scarborough development’ and an additional branching unit and stub to allow for a future potential connection. Nink was cited as saying: ‘Project Highclere will provide the final piece of the puzzle in what we call the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system, a USD500 million system of interconnected cables between Darwin, Port Hedland, Perth, Christmas Island, Jakarta and Singapore.’

Elsewhere, Vocus has started design work on a proposed festoon-style East Coast Cable System. Mr Nink said: ‘This new submarine cable system between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would complement our existing coastal and inland fibre routes. The East Coast Cable System is being designed as a 1,600km system with as many as 24 fibre pairs – the highest subsea fibre count system we will have deployed.’ The East Coast Cable System will also add a third route to Vocus’ existing east coast redundancy. Further, Mr Nink has provided details on Vocus’ in-progress Project Horizon from Perth to Port Hedland; the executive revealed that the 2,000km cable will offer 38Tbps capacity per pair and 400Gbps wavelengths.

PNG DataCo Limited (DataCo) has advised that it is facing multiple service disruptions following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on 11 September. The company said that several breakages have been detected between 17km and 170km outside of Madang (Papua New Guinea) on the PIPE Pacific Cable-1 (PPC-1) and the Kumul Domestic Submarine Cable System. The cable damage has affected services in Momase, Highlands and the New Guinea Islands Regions.

A ‘malfunction’ has occurred on the IMEWE submarine cable system between Alexandria (Egypt) and Marseille (France), causing its suspension. Ogero Telecom Director General Imad Kreidieh pointed out that traffic has been transferred to the CADMOS cable, with repair works currently underway.

HMN Tech has launched what it claims is the world’s first 32 fibre pairs Branching Unit (32FP BU) during the Submarine Networks World 2022. The 32FP BU meets the demand for Petabit-level capacity transmission and is designed based on the titanium alloy housing developed by HMN Tech, which ensures a 100% increase in the number of fibre pairs.

Indonesian fibre broadband provider Biznet has selected Ciena’s 6500 Packet Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optics to help boost the network capacity, coverage and adaptability of the New Biznet Fiber. With Ciena’s technology, Biznet can expand its network to more than 180 cities across Indonesia.

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