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

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3 Mar 2023

Australian telco Vocus Networks has begun laying the last AUD100 million (USD68 million) segment of its Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) submarine cable connecting South East Asia to Darwin (Australia). Deployed by the Ile de Re cable ship owned by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), the DJSC system will have a maximum capacity of 40Tbps and will feature 14 repeaters, using DWDM technology; the system will also employ an optical switch, which will enable teams to ‘remotely balance and optimise the amount of optical wavelength available for different routes on the cable.’ The 1,000km DJSC will interconnect with the 4,600km Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) between Perth and Singapore and the 2,100km North West Cable System (NWCS) between Port Hedland and Darwin, with the completed system expected to be ready for service (RFS) by mid-2023. The new infrastructure will also interconnect with Vocus’ in-progress Project Horizon from Perth to Port Hedland. Vocus CEO Ellie Sweeney said: ‘The completion of our Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system will open up new possibilities for the north-west of Australia, providing direct international connectivity into Darwin as an alternative route to Perth or the east coast of Australia.’

Sparkle has commenced the deployment of its private submarine cable BlueMed in Genoa (Italy), which is part of the Blue cable system aiming to connect Italy, France, Greece and Israel. The initial deployment of the BlueMed subsea cable began on 31 January 2023, starting with the branch connecting Golfo Aranci (Sardinia) with Pomezia (Rome). In Genoa, landing will happen off the port, at the Genoa Landing Platform – which has a multi-conductor submarine pipeline known as the Bore Pipe and extends in a 6km network of tunnels to reach the Genoa Lagaccio Open Landing Station. From Genoa, the submarine cable will continue across the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Sicily hub in Palermo, proceeding through the Strait of Messina and the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. The first Genoa-Golfo Aranci-Pomezia-Palermo section will be operational in May 2023, while the extension to Corsica in Bastia (France) will be completed in June 2023.

The IRIS submarine cable system, owned and operated by state-backed Icelandic company Farice, has entered commercial services. The new 1,770km cable, which was deployed by SubCom, has landing points in Thorlakshofn (Iceland) and Galway (Ireland). TeleGeography notes that Farice already owns and operates two submarine cables which connect Iceland to Europe, namely: FARICE-1 and DANICE. Farice and Far North Digital (FND) are also developing a pan-Arctic cable project, aiming to connect Iceland to Japan; the planned infrastructure is set to be completed by the end of 2026. Farice’s IRIS submarine cable will provide connectivity between Iceland and Ireland, while FND’s new Arctic cable will connect Asia (Japan) with Europe (Ireland) through the Northwest Passage.

Construction works on a 1,900km submarine cable system between Kochi and Lakshadweep Islands have commenced. The INR10.72 billion (USD130 million) Kochi-Lakshadweep Islands (KLI) submarine cable connectivity project will see the deployment of a dedicated submarine fibre-optic cable – with an initial capacity of 200Gbps – between Kochi and eleven islands of India’s smallest Union Territory Lakshadweep (an archipelago comprising 36 islands in the Laccadive Sea) – Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agati, Amini, Androth, Minicoy, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kiltan and Kadmat. The project was approved by the Cabinet in December 2020 and is expected to be completed by May 2023.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced the first twelve projects (worth a combined total of USD51 billion) under the Shareek Programme. In the telecoms sector, Saudi Telecom Company (stc) will implement an EMC cable project, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as a MENA region digital hub and reliable route for data traffic. Also, Zain Saudi Arabia will be accelerating a data centre project, set to help transform the Kingdom into a digital economy by ensuring readiness for future IT advancements.

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The Submarine Cable Map is a free and regularly updated online resource from TeleGeography. Learn more about our range of maps and sponsorship opportunities over here. For more research on long-haul networks and submarine cables, peruse our Global Bandwidth Research Service.

Australia, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Farice, Saudi Telecom Company (stc), Sparkle (formerly Telecom Italia Sparkle), Vocus Group (incl. Commander, Dodo, iPrimus), Zain Saudi Arabia

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