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

14 Dec 2018

Cabo Verde Telecom (CVTelecom) and EllaLink have inked an agreement to deliver connectivity from Europe and Latin America to Cabo Verde via the four-fibre pair direct submarine fibre-optic cable EllaLink. Alfonso Gajate, Chairman of the EllaLink Board, noted: ‘This agreement with CVTelecom is fundamental to the project, allowing us to move ahead and start to build the EllaLink submarine cable system. CVTelecom’s USD25 million investment in EllaLink marks an important strategic decision for the country which will aid the development of its social and economic vision. Connecting Cape Verde to Europe and Latin America with an initial capacity of 200Gbps will enable CVTelecom to create an IT platform in the Atlantic.’ As currently planned, EllaLink will bring 72Tbps of connectivity between the two continents. The 10,119km-long EllaLink will land at Sines in Portugal and at Praia Grande near Sao Paolo (Brazil), with branches to Fortaleza (Brazil), the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira and Cape Verde. The system will be deployed by Nokia’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) unit and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in 2020. TeleGeography notes that the only existing direct fibre-optic cable between Europe and Latin America, the ATLANTIS-2 (commissioned in late 1999), remains in service, although it is based on ageing technology.

PCCW Global and Orange have agreed to jointly land the 12,000km Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable in a carrier-neutral data centre in Marseille (France). Marc Halbfinger, CEO of PCCW Global, said: ‘Our cable landing collaboration with Orange is a critically important step towards bringing PEACE online. Existing congested data routes between Europe and Asia will receive a significant boost when PEACE becomes active from Marseille. In addition, Africa is steadily increasing its demand for world-class connectivity services and PEACE will provide the backbone infrastructure that is critical for the continent’s continued dramatic growth.’ The system will be deployed by Huawei Marine Networks; a contract for the cable manufacturing had been awarded to HENGTONG Marine, which had supplied submarine cables to the FOA project (Chile), PNG (Papua New Guinea), Avassa (Comoros), NaSCOM (the Maldives), Megacable (Mexico) and IGW (Peru). The first phase of the PEACE project will connect Pakistan (Gwadar and Karachi), Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya, while the second phase will provide an extended option to South Africa and Europe. The 200G subsea cabling system – expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020 – will boast a capacity of 16Tbps for each fibre pair and will offer the shortest route from China to Europe and Africa. The system will be an open-access solution and will make use of carrier neutral data centres in the region, with specified landing stations in the Seychelles and Somalia.

The SeaMeWe-3 cable has been damaged earlier this week during a flyover construction in Kochi (India), with Tata Communications saying it aimed at restoring connectivity ‘soon’, The Hindu writes. A company official was cited as saying: ‘It is a vital cable, the longest in the world, witnessing heavy traffic. And, we have a host of high-value customers, including the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). That is why we got down to work as soon as the rupture was reported. It requires a special method of joining cable ends which is progressing fast.’

ADVA Optical Networking announced that its FSP 3000 CloudConnectTeraFlex platform succeeded in transporting 300Gbps of data per wavelength over a 6,800km fibre link. Conducted alongside ADVA’s partner Acacia Communications, the trial also achieved the highest spectral efficiency for such a link carrying 300Gbps per wavelength with 70GHz channel spacing.

A loan agreement has been signed by the governments of Mali, China and the Export-Import Bank of China for the implementation of the ‘Mali Numerique 2020’ project. As part of this project, 817km of fibre-optic network will be deployed, comprising the 420km Mopti-Gao route, the 199km Mopti-Koro-Bi route (on the border with Burkina Faso), the 198km Gao-Labazenga route (on the border with Niger), and a 100km fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Valued at USD162 million, the project will be implemented by China International Telecommunication Construction Corporation (CITCC) and is due to be completed within two years.

The government of Chad and Souda-Chad have reportedly inked an agreement for the operation of a 1,059km fibre-optic network between the capital of N’Djamena and Adre, located on the border with neighbouring Sudan. Dr Salim Bachar Haggar, the Director General of ARCEP, said: ‘With the completion of this infrastructure, Chad has two fibre-optic backbones … It has a Southern route connected to the SAT-3 submarine cable from Cameroon, and an eastern route that interconnects the Chadian network to the submarine cable coming from the Red Sea through the Sudanese facilities. In the long term, this will lead to a large fibre-optic loop that will ensure the interconnection of all regions by high-speed links and the country’s connection to several submarine cables.’

Lastly, Guinea’s telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecommunications (ARPT) has published an update on the deployment of the country’s fibre-optic National Backbone project by the Societe de Gestion et d’Exploitation du Backbone National (SOGEB). According to the ARPT, 3,138km of the fibre-optic backbone has been completed, with 1,236km still under construction. The 4,400km national fibre-optic backbone project was first revealed in February 2012, with Huawei winning the USD238 million deployment contract in December 2012.

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