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

15 Mar 2019

The submarine cable construction subsidiary of South Korean telecoms company KT Corp has secured a contract worth KRW9 billion (USD7.9 million) to build a part of a cross-border undersea cable system for a consortium of telecom carriers and content providers – PCCW Global, Facebook, Amazon, NTT Communications, PLDT and SoftBank. The link between Japan and the Philippines will be approximately 5,600km in length, with construction work set to commence in the third quarter of 2019. The deal is part of the JUPITER submarine cable system aiming to connect Maruyama and Shima in Japan with Los Angeles in the US and Daet in the Philippines. The 14,000km JUPITER network will deliver capacity of more than 60Tbps utilising ROADM which employs wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology, providing a greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers as well as optimised connectivity to data centres on the West Coast of the USA. The system will be supplied by TE SubCom and is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in early 2020.

Telia Carrier and global telecoms infrastructure company Telxius, a subsidiary of Telefonica, have inked a landmark agreement for multi-terabit capacity services combining transatlantic capacity from Telxius over its MAREA cable system and Telia Carrier’s European backbone network. Ivo Pascucci, VP of Sales at Telia Carrier, said: ‘This is one of the largest European capacity projects in recent years and by combining our extensive European network across 100 PoPs in Europe with Telxius’ Spanish footprint and the MAREA cable system, this is a perfect, end-to-end fit.’ The MAREA submarine cable – stretching 6,605km across the Atlantic Ocean from Bilbao (Spain) to Virginia (US) – is a joint project between Telxius, Facebook and Microsoft. Telxius joined the two original partners Microsoft and Facebook in May 2016, to manage the construction process and operate the cable, with deployment work on the system commencing in August. The system, which entered commercial operations in February 2018, features eight fibre-pairs and an initial design capacity of 160Tbps (increased to 200Tbps). Telia Carrier, meanwhile, owns and operates a backbone network connecting more than 280 PoPs with 65,000km of fibre across Europe, The Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

Norwegian company Nor5ke is planning to lay 850km of dark fibre between Bergen and Trondheim, FinansAvisen writes. The system, estimated to cost NOK250 million (USD29 million), is scheduled to be RFS in 2021.

TELE-POST Greenland has disclosed that the break to the Greenland Connect Nord submarine system, which was located south of Sisimiut, has now been repaired, following the arrival of cable ship Horizon Enabler. During the repair works, the engineers discovered that there was no connection through the cable from Sisimiut to Aasiaat, with another breach located 70km north for Sisimiut. Greenland had experienced two damaged submarine cables in the span of several weeks, after the Greenland Connect cable suffered a break between Nuuk and Qaqortoq on 27 December 2018 and the Greenland Connect Nord system was cut on 21 January.

National PTO Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has warned that internet speeds in the country will be severely affected due to the simultaneous repair and maintenance work on two undersea cables that will last until mid-April, VN Express writes. Repair work on the 10,400km Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) system connecting nine Asian nations (Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand) is now scheduled for completion on 11 April, as the fault on the cable branch to Malaysia is still unknown. Further, the maintenance of the Tata TGN-Intra Asia (TGN-IA) cable route connecting Vietnam with Hong Kong and other parts of Asia is scheduled to last from 20 March until 1 April, though repairs on the BU3-BU6 sections of the system will continue until 20 April. The 6,700km TGN-IA cable was officially launched in November 2009, but has suffered numerous faults since inception.

Lastly, Telecom Italia’s international wholesale unit Sparkle has announced the expansion of its reach in Colombia with the opening of a new PoP in Bogota. Located at Equinix Data Centre, the new PoP in Bogota adds to the existing one in Cartagena, strengthening the performance of Sparkle’s global Tier-1 IP transit service Seabone and providing high-speed internet connectivity to the local market as well as to international OTTs, ISPs, and content and application providers.

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