Sunday, April 3, 2022

Construction begins on Carnival Submarine Network-1

Telconet, the Ecuador-based infrastructure and telecom operator, has contracted Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to begin construction of the Carnival Submarine Network-1 (CSN-1), a 4,500 km submarine cable the will link Ecuador, Panama, Colombia and the west coast of Florida, plus potentially other countries within Central and South America.

The submarine cable, which will adopt the industry’s Open Cable architecture, will utilize ASN’s high fiber count SDM Open-Cable technology solutions.

Carlos Pazmino, Telconet’s CSN-1 Project Leader shares his perspective on the project: “Getting to this point has meant a great effort for the ASN and TELCONET teams, the last one supported by DRG. We are sure the CSN-1 will become an excellent connectivity alternative and will be key in improving digitization not only in Ecuador but in countries of South and Central America, which have not yet benefitted as fully from new subsea communications infrastructure as other regions across the globe”.

Paul Gabla, ASN VP Sales & Marketing, is further commenting on ASN presence in the region: “ASN is thrilled to have been selected to build CSN-1 as it further demonstrates its partnership with Telconet as well as its footprint in Latam. CSN-1 will be an important new component of the regional communications infrastructure. ASN is committed to supporting the region’s growing need for high-performance, high-quality subsea cable connectivity, both through our system construction capability and our marine maintenance services based out of CuraƧao”.

Cignal AI: 400ZR pluggable coherent modules in 4Q21

Shipments of 400ZR/ZR+ modules surged in 4Q21 as Cisco (Acacia) and Marvell rapidly scaled production capacity, according to the 4Q21 Transport Applications Report from Cignal AI.

However, demand from Cloud Operators is still exceeding supply, which will be increased this year as vendors such as Ciena, Neophotonics, and II-VI grow production. 

Cignal AI expects that shipments of 400ZR/ZR+ modules will triple in 2022 as cloud operators such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are joined by traditional network operators such as AT&T, Windstream, and COLT rolling out high volume deployments.

“Both webscale and telco operators are making fundamental changes to their network architectures due to the availability of pluggable 400G coherent modules,” said Scott Wilkinson, Lead Optical Component Analyst at Cignal AI. “Module shipments are ramping up quickly, with more than half of all shipments to date coming in the 4th quarter.”

More Key Findings from the 4Q21 Transport Applications Report:

  • Direct shipments of coherent ports to operators are growing rapidly as pluggable coherent modules reshape the supplier landscape.
  • Shipments of Gen60C pluggable 400ZR modules remain supply-constrained, with only two vendors supplying almost all of the volume to date.
  • Ciena remains the largest supplier of cutting-edge Gen90P 800G capable coherent ports, although Infinera’s ICE6 product shipments are increasing rapidly.
  • Compact Modular revenue in North America grew by +25% in 2021 and now represents over a third of optical hardware shipped in the region. Ciena is the market leader in this category.
  • Only Huawei saw Packet-OTN sales increase during 2021. Nokia’s continuing investment in its OTN portfolio has made it the leading western vendor of OTN, and the company is best positioned to win business from Huawei in Europe.

Singtel and Australian fund to acquire 2,000 towers across Australia

AustralianSuper, which is the largest Australian superannuation and pension fund, and Singtel-owned Australia Tower Network (ATN) have agreed to acquire Axicom, one of Australia’s leading providers of telecommunications tower infrastructure, for A$3.58 billion.

Axicom owns and operates approximately 2,000 telecommunication sites located in metro and outer-metro locations across all eight states and territories and major cities in Australia.

In November 2021, AustralianSuper acquired a 70% stake in ATN from Singtel. 

Following the Axicom acquisition, Singtel’s shareholding in the combined ATN/Axicom business will be 18%, with AustralianSuper at 82%.

“Axicom is complementary to our existing digital infrastructure portfolio and this acquisition will result in the creation of a provider with a truly national footprint that will connect the vast majority of Australian families and businesses,” said Nik Kemp, AustralianSuper Head of Infrastructure.

"This acquisition is a unique opportunity to scale up ATN’s operations and expand its customer base. It also reinforces Singtel’s commitment as a long-term investor in the Australian telecoms space where our goal has always been to provide more options and build better communications for Australian consumers and businesses. In combining ATN and Axicom, AustralianSuper and Singtel will be working closely to realise the significant operational synergies created," stated Lim Cheng Cheng, Chief Corporate Officer Singtel's Group.

Telstra sells a 49% stake in its towers business

Telstra will sell a 49% share in its Telstra InfraCo Towers business, which consists of approximately 8,200 towers across Australia, to a consortium comprised of the Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and Sunsuper.The transaction values Telstra InfraCo Towers at $5.9 billion, representing an FY21 pro forma EV/EBITDAaL multiple of 28x. Telstra expects net cash proceeds after transaction costs of $2.8 billion at completion and the...