Huawei Marine, Rostelecom Begin SFOTL Construction

Huawei Marine and Rostelecom have started the construction of submarine fiber optical telecommunication line (SFOTL) connecting Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

The construction of this 900km submarine cable constitutes the second phase of the Far East cable system that connects the regions of Kamchatka-Sakhalin-Magadan, and will be commissioned in Q1 of 2017.

Phase One connecting Sakhalin – Magadan was completed in 2015 along with the land-based telecommunication network on the Kamchatka peninsula. This terrestrial network connects to the submarine cable in the area of Ust-Bolsheretzk, from where the submarine cable is buried beneath the seabed as it crosses the Okhotsk sea, connecting Ust-Bolsheretzk in Kamchatka with Okha residential point in Sakhalin.

The SFOTL project construction has total length of over 1855 km, in addition to the land based fibre network construction. The system capacity is 400 Gbps and is upgradeable in the future to a total capacity of 8 Tbps.

The works on laying of submarine cable are fulfilled by Huawei Marine, a joint venture subsidiary of Huawei, using a specialist cable installation vessel, Cable Innovator. The vessel is over 145 meters in length and cable store a total of 8.5 thousand tonnes of cable.

Nikolay Nikiforov, the minister of telecommunication and mass communication of Russia, stated: “Laying of SFOTL is not a mere construction but a large-scale infrastructural project which will provide the citizens with a set of services necessary in their everyday life. Thanks to high-rate internet access the residents of Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Magadan will access the state electronic services, remote education and telemedicine. In combination with well-operating post service communication infrastructure is also the basis for the development of small business.”

Sergey Kalugin, the president of Rostelecom, said: “Optical cable backbone is one of the most important projects of Rostelecom. SFOTL construction will allow us eliminating the digital divide in the Far East region. We are positive that SFOTL “Kamchatka-Sakhalin-Magadan” will create a possibility for maximum penetration of the widest range of the modern telecommunication services for the population, business and state sector in the Far East.”

Aiden Wu, CEO of Huawei Russia, added: “This is the first project for Huawei on the construction of submarine cable system in Russia. It is a good chance for us to contribute to the solution of digital divide problem. We are confident of a successful installation of Phase Two of this important project that will bring high-speed internet connectivity to change the lives of people in the Far East.”

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