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10 January 2013
| Guy Matthews
Submarine cable projects that address small communities don’t always make the headlines, but nevertheless have the ability to transform lives through the power of fibre connectivity.
A great deal of fanfare inevitably attends the launch of a
major submarine network. The lighting of an IMEWE or an EASSy
is, quite understandably, the subject of much press coverage,
amid talk of important stimulus for developing economies in
need of either added cable diversity or increased international
The rationale for these multi-terabit projects tends to speak
for itself. Less obvious at times is the business case for the
dozens of smaller fibre launches that take place largely
unheralded each year.
In fact, outside of the often very small communities these
cables are built to support, virtually no attention is
Between them, though, these smaller systems are quietly
filling in the digital gaps on the world map, empowering
populations that have been marginalised by reliance on
high-priced satellite connectivity for decades.
Here we examine a sample of three of the less celebrated
submarine projects of the past...
Sea Fibre Networks
Millicom is to own 24% of shares in Helios Towers Africa (HTA) following a reorganisation of various shareholdings.
Alcatel-Lucent has failed to sell its submarine networks division and now says the unit will be included in the €15.6 billion merger with Nokia, planned for 2016.
Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has become a partner of the London Internet Exchange (LINX).
Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) is to construct the Sonangol Offshore Optical Cable (SOOC) which will connect landing points across the coast of Angola.
NTT Docomo is to launch a VoLTE international roaming service in South Korea in cooperation with KT.
Equinix is to support the FASTER subsea cable by providing backhaul into its data centres.