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

3 Jan 2014

Irish-owned, Jamaica-based Digicel Group has reached an agreement with the Guadeloupe-based Loret Group and its affiliate Caribbean Fibre Holdings to acquire a number of pan-Caribbean submarine cable systems. Under the plan, Digicel will acquire the Middle Caribbean Network (MCN),Southern Caribbean Fibre (SCF), Antilles Crossings and a number of related assets from Loret-owned Global Caribbean Fibre (GCF). The financial terms of the contract have not been disclosed, and the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Vodafone Turkey has agreed to pay TRY128 million (USD59.5 million) to use part of the fibre-optic network belonging to state power transmission company TEIAS for a period of 15 years. Vodafone Turkey CEO Gokhan Ogut noted that the telco will increase the span of its existing fibre network to 16,000km by adding lines belonging to Ankara-based TEIAS. Including the rental fee – which is due in annual instalments – Vodafone will invest around TRY300 million in the network. Going forward, Ogut has revealed that UK-based parent Vodafone Group expects to connect its European backbone to fibre networks in Iran, Syria, Georgia, Iraq, India and Turkey in the coming months.

A consortium comprising the Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca and local company Tendai has reportedly won a bid to install and operate a fibre-optic network covering nearly 80% of Peru. The USD323 million National Fibre Optic Backbone (NFOB) project will involve the design, deployment and operation of a 13,000km fibre network, which will connect Lima with 22 regional capitals and 180 provincial capitals. Carlos Paredes, Peru’s minister of transport and communications, has claimed residential broadband prices will drop by as much as 80% once the backbone is in operation.

Fujitsu has increased the network capacity of Indonesia’s Jawa-Kalimantan-Sulawesi-Denpasar-Makassar (JaKa2LaDeMa) submarine cable system using its FLASHWAVE 9500 100Gbps-capable dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) system. The upgrade boosts the network’s capacity to 490Gbps, while leaving room to grow further in future. In 2010, Fujitsu and Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke, a German cable manufacturer, installed the 1,800km JaKa2LaDeMa undersea cable system, which is the first to link the five Indonesian islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java, Bali, and Lombok.

The Kaliningrad branch of Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor has authorised the operation of a DWDM fibre-optic link between the city of Kaliningrad and the Russia-Poland border. The infrastructure has been deployed by Russian mobile operator MegaFon, and has a capacity of 10Gbps.

Kazakhtelecom has commercially launched a 100Gbps channel on an unidentified 500km stretch of its existing DWDM network; the new link will be used to transfer external internet traffic and also to carry traffic transit between local operators.

Huawei has teamed with Polish operator EXATEL to successfully field trial the vendor’s single-carrier 400Gbps WDM platform on a live G.652-based fibre-optic network in Warsaw. The single-carrier system is an industry first, Huawei has asserted. Current 400Gbps platforms either use a pair of 200Gbps subcarriers, or aggregate multiple subcarriers with a capacity of less than 200Gbps into a single ‘superchannel’, the vendor noted.

In Somalia, plans to introduce fibre-optic connectivity in Mogadishu have come unstuck following a disagreement between Dalkom and rival provider Hormuud Telecom (HorTel). Although the reasons behind the fallout have not yet been made public, Dalkom has been involved in the process for at least twelve months, spending around USD7 million on the deployment of infrastructure to areas such as Mogadishu Airport.

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