The festoon submarine cable connecting Guinea-Bissau to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) cable in Dakar (Senegal) has reportedly entered service. The 464km unrepeatered cable runs from Bissau to Dakar where it interconnects with the ACE system for onward connectivity to Europe. The project included the construction of a cable landing station at Suro, a 464km festoon cable connecting the Suro-Dakar landing stations, and a domestic fibre-optic link connecting the landing station at Suro to the capital Bissau. According to the World Bank, the submarine cable landed at Suro in March 2020, with the construction of the cable landing station and the fibre-optic backhaul to the capital Bissau completed by March 2022. The government of Guinea-Bissau signed the agreement with the World Bank, Orange and MTN to connect to the ACE submarine cable back in July 2017; as the country was not part of the initial ACE design, it could not be connected with a standard branching unit as other coastal countries.
Mauritius Telecom (MT) has announced the landing of the T3 Submarine Cable System – aiming to link South Africa to Mauritius with an offshore connection to Reunion and Madagascar – at the Baie Jacotet landing station, in the Bel Ombre area of Mauritius. The 3,200km cable – which is reportedly a revived version of the IOX Cable System – is now set to land at the Amanzimtoti cable landing station in South Africa. The system, developed by MT in partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT), is said to have a total capacity of 18Tbps. The T3 cable is being built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and is scheduled to go live before the end of 2023.
The Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) has landed at Zamboanga City (Mindanao). The 2,500km system is a joint project developed by Eastern Communications in partnership with Globe and InfiniVAN. The project kicked off in July 2022 in Subic (Zambales) and in the coming weeks, the PDSCN will land in Liloy and Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte; Maasin, Leyte; and Mactan, Cebu, before being activated.
The Paratus Group is preparing to go live on the Equiano submarine cable and has selected US-based Infinera to provide it with its ICE6 800G coherent optical solution to increase capacity on the cable system. Infinera will enable the Paratus Group to improve upload and download speeds by 20 times. The 15,000km Equiano system, which runs from Portugal to South Africa along the African coast of the Atlantic Ocean, was deployed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN); it has a design capacity of 144Tbps, with landing points in Namibia, Nigeria, Portugal, Saint Helena, Togo, South Africa and Portugal. According to Paratus, the connection to the Equiano cable is critical to meet the current and future connectivity requirements of Namibia and international connectivity, including its landlocked neighbours, such as Botswana and Zambia.
Cable operator SEACOM is looking to partner with more submarine cable operators that are landing on the African continent, says the company’s chief digital officer Prenesh Padayachee. The executive highlighted: ‘We are continuously on the lookout for newer cables that land in the territories that we operate in. So, for 2Africa, there will be a discussion … The cable might have hit the land but the commissioning of the cable takes much longer … As that starts to unfold, we will work through that as well, because it will complement what we already have on the east coast with our own SEACOM cable.’ Upon completion, the 47,000km 2Africa submarine network will be the longest in the world, connecting 46 locations in Africa, Europe and Asia. Portions of 2Africa are expected to enter commercial service by the end of 2023, delivering a design capacity of up to 180Tbps on key parts of the system.
Exa Infrastructure has revealed that it has invested USD42.5 million in digital infrastructure for the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) since its launch in 2021. The investment has been used to upgrade 100km of metro network in Barcelona, to connect several data centres – including those hosted by Interxion, Equinix, Edged Energy and EdgeConnex – with the AFR-IX Telecom Barcelona Cable Landing Station, and to deploy a new terrestrial route between Lisbon and Sines in Portugal to Exa’s Spanish backbone in Madrid and Barcelona. The Barcelona Cable Landing Station will house the 8,760km Medusa submarine cable, which is scheduled to connect the Middle East and Europe when it goes live in Q3 2024.
The US House of Representatives has unanimously approved legislation that aims to protect US submarine cable capabilities from China. If enacted, the Undersea Cable Control Act (H.R. 1189) would prevent China from acquiring US-made products and technologies that are used in developing and supporting submarine cables by invoking the Export Control Reform Act’s section 1752, which restricts the export of items that could prove detrimental to the national security and the economy of the US. The House-approved H.R. 1189 has advanced to the US Senate, which referred the measure to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee for consideration.
Elsewhere, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have agreed to work jointly in developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria. The officials of the two organisations reached the agreement at a pre-audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
US-based Windstream Wholesale and Canadian network operator Bluewater Regional Networks have collaborated on a new fibre network route between Toronto (Canada) and Chicago (US). The fibre network will support 10GbE, 100GbE, and 400GbE wavelength services from Toronto to Sarnia (Ontario), with onward connectivity to Lapeer (Michigan) and Chicago.
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