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

7 Feb 2014

Antonio Nunes, CEO of Angola Cables, has updated details on the upcoming rollout of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) linking Brazil with Angola, which is aiming to be the first transatlantic system in the Southern Hemisphere. In an interview quoted by Angonoticias, Nunes gave the approximate ready-for-service (RFS) date as late-2015 to early-2016 (later than original expectations of end-2014), whilst the cost of the SACS project was announced as USD160 million. Angola Cables’ website says that the 6,000km Luanda-Fortaleza cable is designed with four fibre pairs (100×100Gbps on each) to give a total capacity of 40Tbps. The main rollout partner has still not been named, although CommsUpdate reported in November 2013 that Alcatel-Lucent, NEC and TE Connectivity were in contention. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the involvement of Brazilian telco Telebras in the SACS project will involve only the provision of the cable’s Brazilian landing point, and not the formation of a joint company to manage the submarine deployment as had previously been hinted at, BNamericas reports.

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a turnkey contract with the Libyan International Telecommunication Company (LITC) to build a new 1,000km undersea cable system linking the country’s capital, Tripoli, to Benghazi. The system is expected to play a critical role in the reconstruction of Libya’s telecoms infrastructure and help to improve connectivity and reliability. Based on Alcatel-Lucent‘s 100G technology, the system will ultimately carry capacity in excess of 10Tbps per fibre pair, and is expected to be ready for service by mid-2015.

Paraguay is likely to be the next country to join the Brazil-championed South American fibre ring, BNAmericas reports. A formal interest in the project was expressed to Brazilian authorities last week by Paraguay’s communications and public works minister Ramon Jimenez Gaona, who met with his counterpart Paulo Bernardo in Brasília. According to Bernardo, the Brazil-Paraguay interconnection would not demand require significant resources, as the two countries already have a shared power transmission line with fibre cables in the binational Itaipu plant. To date, the most concrete steps for the transnational fibre project, which is being carried out under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations (Unasul), have been taken with Uruguay. In June last year, Brazil’s state-run Telebras signed a deal with Uruguay’s Antel to inaugurate an interconnection point linking the Brazilian city of Santana do Livramento, near the Uruguayan border, to the Uruguayan city of Rivera.

Chilean telco Telsur, a part of Grupo GTD, has announced an investment of USD10 million to build a 440km fibre-optic submarine cable linking Quellon with Puerto Chacabuco, in the south of the country. The second phase of the project will see the infrastructure connected to the town of Manihuales. Telsur expects to commence its deployment during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Russia’s TransTeleCom (TTK) has enlisted Hibernia Networks to deploy its EtherReach Global-IX service to augment network connectivity in western Europe. By leveraging the platform TTK will be able to directly connect to a number of European internet exchanges, including PLIX (Warsaw), NIX.CZ (Prague), Espanix (Madrid), MIX (Milan) and France-IX (Paris) over Hibernia’s Carrier Ethernet network. TTK operates a 76,000km fibre-optic network with over 1.6Tbps in capacity which reaches around 90% of Russia’s population.

Russian national operator Rostelecom has reportedly resumed construction of its Northern Fibre Optical Stream Backbone. The construction was halted due to heavy frost in the Yamal-Nenets region, although some 340km of the planned 365km total has already been deployed. The current deployment – the eighth phase of the project – will connect Salekhard and Nadym. Work on the backbone, which will ultimately cross the Yamal-Nenets, Yugra and Yekaterinburg regions, first started in 2000.

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