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

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28 Apr 2023

The India Asia Xpress (IAX) submarine cable system being developed by Reliance Jio has landed at Matara in Sri Lanka, in partnership with Dialog Axiata. The IAX, which is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by Q3 2023, will connect Hulhumale in the Maldives directly with Mumbai (India) and Singapore, with additional branches to five countries, including Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It is part of a system comprising two main cables: the IAX and the India Europe Xpress (IEX). For its part, the IEX cable will stretch from India to the Middle East and Europe (via a landing in Savona, Italy).

The deployment of the Natitua Sud cable system aiming to connect Tahiti to the Austral Islands has commenced in Toahotu (French Polynesia). The rollout is scheduled to proceed towards Rurutu and Tubuai, with a total of 800km to be installed at a depth of 5,000 metres, writes.

Vietnamese tech company FPT is planning to deploy a new fibre-optic connection linking Vietnam to the planned Asia Link Cable System (ALC) via a new landing station in Da Nang City. FPT subsidiary FPT Telecom will invest 30% of the cost (expected at USD87 million) from its own resources and borrow the rest from banks. The 6,000km ALC system linking a number of countries in Southeast Asia is being developed by a consortium comprising Singtel, China Telecom Global Limited (CTG), China Telecommunications Corporation (CTC), Globe Telecom (Globe), DITO Telecommunity Corporation (DITO) and Unified National Networks (UNN). The new system will have landing stations in Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei and Hainan in China and will comprise eight fibre pairs that can transmit up to 18Tbps per fibre pair. The submarine system is targeted for completion by the third quarter of 2025.

The IONIAN system linking Italy to Greece has reportedly entered commercial operations. The IONIAN is a 24-fibre pair cable across the Ionian Sea from Crotone in southern Italy to Preveza in Greece, developed by IslaLink.

HUB Advanced Networks has filed a request for special temporary authority (STA) on behalf of AT&T Corp, MCI International, Primus Telecommunications, Sprint Communications, PREPA Networks and Telefonica Larga Distancia De Puerto Rico for the continued operation of the Antillas 1 cable, while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers a forthcoming application for an additional ten-year term for the cable landing licence. The FCC previously approved the STA on 10 May 2022, and following a November 2022 extension, the STA is now valid until 7 May 2023. The 650km Antillas 1 submarine cable system linking the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico (US) boasts four landing points in Punta Cana and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), and Isla Verde and Miramar (Puerto Rico).

Digital and technology ministers from the international Group of Seven (G7) will adopt a plan for deploying a network of submarine cables to serve developing and emerging countries, Nikkei writes. The G7 will partner with the World Bank, the ITU and private sector telecom operators on the project. Takeaki Matsumoto, Japan’s minister for internal affairs and communications, said: ‘As [this year’s G7] host nation, we intend to take the lead on this issue.’

The Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable linking Vietnam to the rest of Asia has encountered a new technical problem, while old issues remain unfixed, VnExpress writes. The fault was located 206km offshore from Da Nang, with no current repair schedule released. The system previously encountered issues in late December 2022 (S6 Branch, off Hong Kong landing station) and mid-January 2023 (S9 Branch, 151km offshore); the S9 fault was fixed at the end of March 2023, while the repair of the S6 issue has been delayed until the end of April.

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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.

Dominican Republic, French Polynesia, Greece, Italy, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, AT&T Communications, China Telecom Corporation, China Telecom Global, Dialog Axiata, DITO Telecommunity Corp, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Globe Telecom (incl. Innove), IslaLink, Primus Telecommunications (USA), Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), Singtel Group, Telefonica Larga Distancia de Puerto Rico, Unified National Networks (UNN)

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