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

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14 Oct 2022

Romania is working with Georgia and other partner states to carry out some major strategic projects, including the construction of submarine cable between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Romanian Insider cited President Klaus Iohannis as saying: ‘We have as a priority the construction of an electric cable between Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan, within the ‘’Green Electricity Corridor’’, which will connect the Caspian Sea region with the Black Sea and the European Union. It would be doubled by a Romania-Georgia optical fibre submarine cable for the development of digital connectivity between the European Union, Georgia and, further, to Central Asia.’

Guam-based TeleGuam Holdings (trading as GTA) has commenced the construction of its Alupang Data Center, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2024. GTA President and CEO Roland Certeza revealed that while GTA is still waiting for a building permit for the data centre, it already has a permit to start drilling holes for the cable ducts. The new infrastructure is designed to accommodate as many as six submarine cables. Currently, a total of eleven submarine cables land in Guam, connecting the US to the Asia-Pacific region; GTA operates a landing station and data centre in Piti and has part-ownership of one of the cable systems. According to Bill 277-36, GTA will be required to pay a one-time USD100,000 fee for each cable system installed, as well as a USD100,000 annual licence payment.

AzerTelecom and Turk Telecom International (TTI) have inked a contract for the establishment of a new connectivity route from Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey, with the purchase of an initial 200Gbps of transit capacity over the route. The new capacity building and connectivity route is a part of the Digital Silk Way project – aimed at creating a new digital telecom corridor between Europe and Asia through Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. In addition to AzerTelecom’s supply routes via West and North directions, a new partnership with Turk Telecom International builds another alternative digital transit corridor in the direction of Turkey and Europe. The parties have already established cooperation in various communication service exchanges, including connectivity with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan via Turkey.

The FCC has modified a number of submarine cable system concessions – for the Americas-II, Mid-Atlantic Crossing (MAC), Pan American Crossing (PAC) and South American Crossing (SAC) cable systems – following a notification that Global Crossing Americas Solutions (GCAS) has changed its name to Cirion Technologies Solutions. As previously reported by Cable Compendium Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) officially closed the sale of its Latin American operations to Stonepeak for USD2.7 billion cash on 1 August 2022. The Latin American business was scheduled to be renamed Cirion and be operated as an independent portfolio company of Stonepeak.

Nokia is providing optical upgrades to Gulf Bridge International (GBI), thus increasing GBI’s international network capacity to enable high-speed connectivity between Doha (Qatar) and Milan (Italy). Nokia’s PSE-V coherent technology will allow GBI to provide capacity upgrades to its existing submarine cables and terrestrial links spanning two seas and three countries to meet customer demand for additional bandwidth between the Middle East and Europe. GBI will upgrade its Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) optical transport platforms with new network interface cards powered by the Photonic Service Engine V (PSE-V) digital signal processors. This will enable upgrade to wavelength connections from 50Gbps to 200Gbps over GBI’s existing end-to-end submarine cable and terrestrial links and will allow the introduction of 400Gbps services in the future.

International network service provider RETN has significantly strengthened its presence across Italy, doubling the number of its PoPs from three to six. With new PoPs in Padua, Milan and Rome, RETN extended its network to the Italian capital, whilst further strengthening its presence in the north of the country. RETN’s Key Account Manager for Italy, Spain, France and Portugal, Alberto Naso, said: ‘With Italy being one of our focus markets in Europe, we are particularly excited to announce our latest local network extension. We will continue to grow our network across the country to provide our customers with the most reliable IP transit and capacity services.’ For its extension to Rome, RETN has teamed up with Namex, the main internet hub in Central and Southern Italy.

LS Cable & System, LS Group’s cable manufacturing unit, will make a KRW25.2 billion (USD17.6 million) equity investment in KT Submarine to support its submarine cable business. The company will acquire a total of 4.04 million shares (equivalent to 16% of KT Submarine’s share capital), thus becoming the second-largest shareholder of KT Submarine. KT Submarine, established in 1995 as an affiliate of KT Group, has been engaged in the construction of submarine cables and offshore plants and in developing offshore energy sources. LS Group commented on the deal: ‘We will be able to expand technology with KT Submarine’s advanced underwater power cable construction business overseas by combining our undersea cable manufacturing technique.’

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