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

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21 Dec 2022

Consortium members China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Unicom Global (CUG), Converge and PPTEL SEA H2X and equipment vendor HMN Tech have reaffirmed that the South East Asia Hainan-Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X) will be ready for service (RFS) in 2024. The 5,000km SEA-H2X cable will land in La Union province in the Philippines, Tseung Kwan O (Hong Kong SAR China), Hainan (China), Songkhla (Thailand), Kuching (Malaysia) and Tuas (Singapore). The SEA-H2X system will consist of eight fibre pairs between Hong Kong SAR and Singapore, with a design capacity of 160Tbps to meet the growing bandwidth requirement in the region. Converge will have two fibre pairs on the Hong Kong SAR-Singapore segment of the SEA-H2X system.

Seren Juno Network – a joint company established by NTT Group, Mitsui and JA Mitsui Leasing (JAML) – and Seren Juno Network America have applied for a licence to land and operate within US territory the JUNO submarine cable system, a private fibre-optic submarine cable network connecting Grover Beach (California, US), Harbour Pointe (Washington, US) and Shima and Minamiboso (Japan). The JUNO system is a high-fibre-count system deploying SDM technology. The JUNO system will consist of the following segments: the 9,356km main trunk, which will connect Minamiboso with Grover Beach, will have 20 fibre pairs with a design capacity of 18Tbps each. The 904km Shima Branch will connect Shima with a branching unit on the main trunk; it will feature 14 fibre pairs with a design capacity of approximately 18Tbps each. The 1,450km Washington Branch will connect Harbour Point with a branching unit on the main trunk. It will comprise 14 fibre pairs, with a design capacity of 18Tbps each. The applicants have not yet decided on the initial lit capacity of the system, though they contracted NEC Corporation to deploy the system in July 2022. The applicants have requested a streamlined processing of this application and a timely licence grant following national security review, in order to facilitate construction and testing of the system beginning in December 2023, with commercial operation of the JUNO system scheduled to commence by the fourth quarter of 2024.

The Italian government is making moves to bring Telecom Italia’s (TIM) submarine cable unit Sparkle under state control, four sources close to the matter told Reuters, as the submarine networks are being considered a major strategic asset for the nation. The plan emerged after the government started talks with leading TIM investors Vivendi and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to identify ‘the best market-friendly options’ for the group by the end of 2022. Industry sources indicate a valuation of almost EUR1 billion (USD1.06 billion) for the unit.

Romania, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Georgia have signed an agreement for the deployment of a submarine electricity cable system, which also includes the rollout of a telecoms submarine cable system from Georgia to Romania across the Black Sea. Georgian transmission system operator GSE disclosed that a feasibility study for the 1,100km system – carried by Italian consulting firm CESI – is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023 and that the cable could be built in late 2029 .

Uruguayan operator Dedicado has deployed a high-capacity network between Argentina and Uruguay, leveraging Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optical technology in both terrestrial and submarine network segments. Believed to be the first high-capacity 600G to 800G network between Argentina and Uruguay, the network can deliver up to 25.2Tbps between the countries. Additionally, Dedicado has improved operational efficiencies with the deployment of a single technology across both terrestrial and submarine links.

Cisco has partnered with OTEGlobe to increase the capacity and performance of its network to deliver faster, more efficient connections to its customers with a full-scale, 800G-ready infrastructure. Powered by the Cisco IOS XR7 operating system and the Cisco Silicon One Q200 ASIC, the Cisco 8800 series router will provide OTEGlobe with increased port density and performance. The reduced space and power requirements on co-located sites result in significant OPEX savings for OTEGlobe.

Lastly, Huawei and Orange have successfully achieved what they claim is ‘a new world record’ of 157Tbps transmission prototype testing over a 120km fibre on the Orange network in South West France.

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