Following the first edition of the Top Stories on Submarine Cable Networks, I'd like to share herein its second edition, the top stories of 2012 on Submarine Cable Networks.

1. No disaster, a rather healthy year.

In 2012, global submarine cable networks run rather healthy.
Unlike in the former years, such as Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Taiwan earthquake and typhoon Morakot in 2009, cable cuts in the Mediterranean affected 14 countries in 2008, and Taiwan Hengchun earthquake in 2006, there were disasters and accidents resulted in regional and even global impacts to submarine cable networks and global traffic. Although there were cable cuts from time to time in 2012, the whole submarine cable networks kept rather healthy and resilient.
No disaster, no story, this is the best story of the year 2012 on submarine cable networks.

2. 100G prevails.

Just one year ago, 40G coherent submarine network was first alive on submarine cable networks. In this year, the rise of 100G was rolling in, with a speed fast enough to put the 40G technology as a truly interim solution. Wherever distance agrees, 100G prevails over 40G. According to the study by Stephen Jarvis, 100G is the dominating technology for cable upgrades.

3. Pacific Fibre has gone.

There is no more sad news than this one in the submarine cable industry —— PACIFIC FIBRE HAS GONE. We feel the same as Mark Rushworth, CEO of Pacific Fibre, said that "we feel like we’ve done everything we can to succeed and we are all hugely disappointed that we have not managed to get there. " We need new cable connecting Australia, New Zealand and the US. 

4. Facebook invests in submarine network.

In early July, Facebook finally unveiled its investment in the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) cable. Following Google's investment in the Unity cable system, Facebook participated in the games of telecom operators. Will there be any other follower?

5. GBI connects Iraq to global submarine cable networks.

Launched in February 2012, the GBI cable system connects to all the countries around the Gulf, brings the first ever submarine cable connecting Iraq, connects the world to the gulf via its eastward extend to India and westward extend to Europe. And with its terrestrial advantage, Iraq may emerge from isolation as telecommunications hub.

6. Alcatel-Lucent plans to sell submarine cable business.

According to news from REUTERS, Alcatel-Lucent is weighing selling its submarine cable business and a unit that sells telephone systems to big companies as part of its effort to shore up its balance sheet. Later news shows that the French government is trying to arrange a deal in which France Telecom would acquire part of Alcatel-Lucent's submarine cable unit, seen as a 'strategic' asset.

7. Overland transport system manufacturers seize substantial shares of submarine cable upgrades

Compared with ASN's hard days, and moreover, one of the reasons for submarine cable system suppliers' hard days, manufacturers for traditional overland transport systems seize substantial shares of submarine cable upgrades. According to to the study by Stephen Jarvis, Xtera, Infinera and Ciena acquired almost 85% of submarine cable upgrades in the market.

8. Sea-Me-We 5 still struggles in difficulties

It seems the Sea-Me-We 5 cable consortium is still struggling in the difficulties. As Sunil Tagare posted in his article Chinese Carriers Take Over Sea-Me-We-5, the initial parties are in a possibility to lose their control over the Sea-Me-We 5 cable to non-landing Chinese parties. Moreover, the cable seems not able to run through Egypt which makes the route less competitive and attractive. And the industry is still waiting for the Sea-Me-We 5 consortium to conclude a C&MA.

9. Erasing demarcation of submarine system and backhaul system

As predicted by Ciena, big changes in the cable landing station has indeed happened, which essentially erased the terrestrial-submarine network demarcation of the past. Today, the same technologies (40G/100G coherent, WSS, ROADMs) are used overland and undersea. This has led to PoP-to-PoP rather than beach-to-beach network designs yielding the elimination of terrestrial backhaul equipment, significant reduction in overall equipment, faster MTTR and improved network availability, significant reduction in power consumption for a greener network solution, and a significant reduction in capital and operational expenditures.  

A submarine cable system integrated with terrestrial backhaul is what the market is looking for, especially where there are nightmares and barriers on the access of cable landing stations. 

With this edition of the top stories on Submarine Cable Networks, Winston would like to conclude this year's edition on Submarine Cable Networks.

Best wishes to every visitor and subscriber for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.