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

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9 Dec 2022

Meta (Facebook) and Bharti Airtel have revealed a collaborative project to extend the 2Africa PEARLS submarine cable branch to Bharti Airtel’s landing station in Mumbai (India). The 2Africa PEARLS branch – extending the 2Africa cable to the Arabian Gulf, India and Pakistan – was first announced in October 2021. 2Africa PEARLS will feature landing locations in Oman (Barka), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Kalba), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain (Manama), Kuwait (Kuwait), Iraq (Al-Faw), Pakistan (Karachi), India (Mumbai), and a fourth landing in Saudi Arabia (Al Khobar). Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) will deploy the 2Africa PEARLS branch utilising new technologies, such as Space Division Multiplexing (SDM), that allow the deployment of up to 16 fibre pairs.

Seren Juno Network – a joint company established by NTT Group, Mitsui and JA Mitsui Leasing (JAML) – has submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking permission to build a trans-Pacific submarine fibre-optic cable called JUNO, connecting the US and Japan. The new 10,000km system will land in the Chiba and Mie prefectures in Japan and California (US), with a planned ready for service (RFS) date of end-2024. JUNO will feature SDM technology, enabling the provision of 20 optical fibre pairs (40 cores) per cable, providing maximum capacity of 350Tbps. In addition, the system can alter the amount of bandwidth to each branch route according to demand and in response to customers’ evolving requirements. NEC Corporation was contracted to deploy the system in July 2022.

Empresa de Telecommunicaciones de Cuba (ETECSA) and French company Orange have inked an agreement for the deployment of a submarine cable linking the central province of Cienfuegos (Cuba) with Martinique. The new system will be deployed by Orange Marine and is expected to be ready in 2023. The project is currently underway and has received all the permits for its deployment, the companies have announced.

Nexans has commenced the manufacturing of Tampnet’s Norfest submarine cable system, aiming to link Norway and Sweden. The Norfest cable will be a fully buried 749km system with nine landings for interconnection to carriers, other submarine cables and data centre facilities. The first portion of the offshore route survey was completed in September 2022, with Nexans now beginning the manufacturing of the 48 and 96 fibre-pair cable, which will be ready for handover to Cecon Contracting for installation in June 2023. The system is expected to enter operations in Q3 2023.

Lumen Technologies is planning to double the size of its US intercity network to twelve million fibre miles by the end of 2026. When complete, the telco says the network will connect 50 major cities across the US at data rates of up to 400Gbps.

Eastern Communications has completed the cable landing station in Boracay (Philippines), which will host the USD150 million Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) project. The project, developed jointly by Eastern Communications, Globe and InfiniVAN, kickstarted in July 2022 in Subic (Zambales) and has landed at 20 sites so far. Going forward, in 2023 the 2,500km submarine fibre-optic cable will be deployed to other areas, including Camiguin, Camarines Sur, Surigao City and Zamboanga.

Telco giant PLDT plans to complete its cable landing stations (CLS) in Aurora and Davao within the first half of 2024, PLDT vice president and global capacity strategy head Gene Sanchez told The STAR. The Aurora and Davao CLS will serve as the base stations for the USD80 million Apricot cable system that will add 35Tbps to PLDT’s international capacity.

Lastly, Nokia has revealed that Korea Internet Neutral eXchange (KINX) will use its optical networking solution to connect KINX’s data centres in South Korea. The KINX network will be deployed using Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch platforms, and includes use of fifth-generation Photonic Service Engine chipset (PSE-V), which deliver application-optimised performance for metro and regional networks.

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