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Nautronix Commission Largest NASDive Digital Diver Communications System

Leading provider of through water communication and positioning technology to the offshore industry, Nautronix, have commissioned the largest NASDive digital diver communications system for GDA, who were working on an upgrade of the communication system on-board Submarine Rescue Vessel, the MV Belos for the Swedish Navy.

The vessel provides support for the Swedish Navy, and is fitted with hyperbaric chambers to facilitate rescue of submariners in the event of an incident. It was recently on an exercise with the NATO Submarine Rescue system. Following that exercise the chamber system upgrade took place, and included a full upgrade of the chamber communications system to NASDive. This involved communications to 8 individual locations in each of 4 chambers, 2 further locations in each of 5 locks and transfer chambers plus an additional 9 external communications locations, making an impressive total of 51 individual locations.

NASDive is unique in digitising all speech at source, as a result of which the many problems associated with signal losses in cabling and connectors are eliminated, resulting in clear communications at all times, and along with improved unscramble algorithms and helium speech unscrambling, which are available for each communications location. System cabling is also simplified by the use of CAT5 cabling to each location, or if unavailable VDSL on screen twisted pairs would be used, both of which allow standard telecoms hardware to be utilised topside. Ethernet hubs are used to marshal the signals, and control of the system is provided via a touch screen Display and Control Unit (DCU). The dive supervisor has full control over all communication locations, and can manage the system by configuring any location into one or a number of groups, each of which the supervisor can select whether he is talking and/or listening to. Wireless supervisor headsets free up the supervisors movements to facilitate the other tasks he is responsible for, while each communication location has local control over microphone and headset volumes, and sideband levels, thus minimising the supervisors ‘housekeeping’ activities.

The system was delivered 18 weeks from order following a full client witnessed FAT at Nautronix premises, and installed by the client, with final commissioning by 2 Nautronix engineers over a 4 day period 2 weeks later. The Belos installation has shown the power and flexibility of NASDive to facilitate high quality communications with a large number of locations, and be easily retrofitted to existing chamber systems.

Mark Patterson, CEO for Nautronix, says “We are delighted to have supplied NASDive to GDA for the Swedish Navy and it is a significant order for Nautronix. We have recently focussed on the development of NASDive and invested £1 million to refresh our diver communications product line which shows our commitment to the product and for the Swedish Navy to be using the system on one of their vessels is a testament to the advantages it offers to divers.”

SAT-3/WASC/SAFE Consortium and Alcatel-Lucent Complete Upgrade of Cable System Linking Europe to the West Coast of Africa

Increased speeds boost ability of 14,350km cable system to meet growing demand for broadband services and connectivity.

Paris, September 01, 2014

SAT-3/WASC/SAFE Parties and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) have completed the fourth upgrade of the SAT-3/WASC undersea cable system, which went live during the first half of 2014. This latest upgrade has doubled the current system capacity, further positioning SAT-3/WASC as a leading submarine cable facility on the Sub-Saharan African coastline.

Operating at 40 gigabit-per-second (Gbit/s) and with full in-system protection, the system offers one of the lowest latency routes from Africa to Europe with connectivity between Europe, West Coast of Africa and Southern Africa with landings in South Africa, Angola, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Spain and Portugal. The SAT-3/WASC cable system was upgraded from 420 Gbit/s to 920 Gbit/s in the northern segments, north of Ghana, and from 340 Gbit/s to 800Gbit/s in the southern segments. Overall, this fourth upgrade enables a sevenfold increase in SAT-3/WASC’s original design capacity through the use of Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent technology.

Furthermore, SAFE provides the shortest route and therefore lowest latency between Southern Africa and Asia with connectivity via South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion, India and Malaysia. With sixteen landing points spread between Europe, Africa and Asia, the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE cables provide access to global markets and footprint, offering to customers' seamless and diverse connectivity to the rest of the world.

Johan Meyer, Management Committee Chairman of SAT-3/WASC/SAFE consortium said: “SAT-3/WASC/SAFE has a proven track record backed by 12 years of operational experience and sound financial stability, allowing for further cable upgrades and optimum network performance, both regionally and globally. The additional capacity available with the fourth upgrade will contribute significantly in meeting the ongoing demand in the markets served by SAT3/WASC/SAFE.”

Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, said: “Carriers, service providers, multimedia and content providers all are expanding their networks to support Internet and data center applications, while protecting their existing investments. Alcatel-Lucent’s unique submarine solution delivers ease of upgrade and scalability to multi-terabit capacity, offering a staged migration combining technological and economic benefits. This upgrade allows quicker service turn-up to meet customers’ expectations for anywhere, anytime access to broadband applications, storage and computing.”

For more information visit the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE website.

Orange Business Services Wins Strategic Satellite Communications Contract with Petroleum Industry Leader BW Offshore

$12 million contract covers communications between Oslo headquarters and 14 oil and gas production vessels to help BW Offshore implement “at sea” offices

BW Offshore, a leading global provider of floating production services to the oil and gas industry, has signed a 5-year, $12 million contract with Orange Business Services for an end-to-end satellite communication solution for its fleet of highly-specialized oil and gas production vessels. With a fleet of 14 owned Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels and one Floating Storage and Offtake (FSO) vessel, BW Offshore is the world’s second largest contractor of floating production services.

Orange Business Services is providing Maritime VSAT – a fully managed end-to-end satellite-based communication solution – which fully integrates BW Offshore’s 14 vessels and two land-based locations into the Orange MPLS network. This solution offers BW Offshore personnel access to the exact same business applications, communication and entertainment services at sea as on land, no matter where the vessel is located. In addition, BW Offshore has agreed to invest in Session Internet Protocol (SIP) trunking - the use of voice over IP to facilitate the connection of a private branch exchange (PBX) to the Internet - to enable the implementation of unified communications for its 2,000 employees regardless of their location.

From an administration point of view, the solution is in many ways pioneering. For years, BW Offshore had multiple VSAT providers with different contracts, quality of service and SLAs. The communication solution from Orange Business Services connects the floating and land-based personnel seamlessly in an end-to-end network with the same high performance, quality of service and security.

“By choosing the satellite-based solution from Orange Business Services, we avoid many of the challenges we sometimes faced with a multiple provider strategy, like high latency on VSAT links and poor application performance on vessels at sea,” said Fritz Ekløff, Senior Vice President of Corporate IT at BW Offshore. “We wanted a single provider with end-to-end responsibility that could deliver service with predictable speed, quality and security. The solution is cost efficient and at the same time we get access to a wider portfolio of services than we had before.”

“With the Orange maritime service, BW Offshore embodies the concept of ‘office at sea,’” said Helmut Reisinger, senior vice president, Orange Business Services Europe, Russia & CIS. “As opposed to other VSAT providers, our satellite and land-based services are fully integrated. As a result, BW Offshore gets access to a secure, high-performing network from all sites, whether at sea or on land. By choosing an end-to-end solution, the company avoids using the public Internet which adds complexity and lowers overall control, quality and security. Orange Business Services supports BW Offshore with a unique blend of maritime and oil and gas industry expertise. In addition, Orange Business Services is the only global provider with its own local staff to install and support complex satellite networks all over the world, which is critical for a global company like BW Offshore.”

For more information: http://www.orange-business.com/en/press/orange-business-services-wins-strategic-satellite-communications-contract-with-petroleum

Hawaiian Telcom Joins New Submarine Cable Consortium Linking Southeast Asia and US

Provides New Growth Opportunities and Secures Low Cost Network Capacity

HONOLULU, Aug. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, Inc. (Nasdaq:HCOM), through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Hawaiian Telcom Services Company, Inc., has joined other international telecommunications companies to form the Southeast Asia – United States (SEA-US) consortium to build and operate a new trans-Pacific submarine cable system, connecting Indonesia, Philippines, Guam, Hawaiʻi and California by the end of 2016.

The SEA-US Trans-Pacific Submarine Cable System Route image is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=27358

Internet traffic is growing exponentially due to increased demand from broadband and mobile subscribers for video, applications and other online content. This demand and the growing availability of increasing broadband speeds is leading to explosive growth in overall bandwidth demand. The Asia-Pacific region is a leading driver of Internet traffic growth, which will continue to push trans-Pacific connectivity demand beyond existing capacities. According to a recent global bandwidth forecast published by TeleGeography, trans-Pacific demand is expected to increase at a compounded annual rate of 33 percent between now and 2020.

Answering this demand, the SEA-US submarine cable system will deliver a state-of-the-art 100 Gigabytes per second (Gbps) ultra-long haul system that will provide an initial 20 Terabytes per second (Tbps) of capacity over approximately 15,000 kilometers of fiber. As part of the consortium, Hawaiian Telcom will invest approximately $25 million over the multi-year construction period for a fractional ownership in the system.

The SEA-US system is strategically located along an underserved trans-Pacific route and will be the first submarine cable directly connecting Indonesia and the United States. With a high concentration of existing trans-Pacific fiber cables on the Japan-United States route, this system will provide critical route diversity options allowing customers to reduce risk due to natural disasters from typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis thereby helping to ensure stable connectivity.

"Hawaiian Telcom is proud to participate in this landmark project," said Eric K. Yeaman, Hawaiian Telcom's president and CEO. "Our investment in the SEA-US submarine cable system furthers our strategy to invest in our network and systems and provides us with a unique opportunity to participate in the growing demand for trans-Pacific bandwidth. The SEA-US system offers trans-Pacific bandwidth customers a new geographically diverse path that will enhance their networks' resiliency. The significant demand for this new capacity is evidenced by the strong indications of interest we have already received from carriers for purchasing such capacity."

Investing in the SEA-US system will also allow Hawaiian Telcom to efficiently meet its internal long-term trans-Pacific capacity needs, as demand for increased bandwidth continues to grow. Hawaiian Telcom is building a network to handle the requirements of its customers now and into the future.

"SEA-US enables us to cost-effectively meet our future bandwidth growth requirements and substantially lower our incremental cost of trans-Pacific IP transit capacity by participating as an owner and operator, rather than just a capacity purchaser," added Yeaman. "Our investment in this cable will provide the dual benefit of making valuable capacity available to our carriers and enterprise customers and supports our internal growth with faster and more technologically advanced connectivity."

Other SEA-US consortium members include P.T. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Telkom USA, Globe Telecom, GTI Corporation, Teleguam Holdings, LLC (GTA), and RAM Telecom International (RTI). NEC is the system supplier and integrator. The total amount of investment in the SEA-US cable system is estimated to be approximately $250 million.

Northrop Grumman Wins US Navy CANES Shipboard Network

SAN DIEGO – Aug. 20, 2014 – The U.S. Navy has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) as one of five contractors for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) full deployment production contract to upgrade cybersecurity, command and control, communications and intelligence (C4I) systems across the fleet. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity multiple award contract has a potential value of $2.5 billion over eight years.

"Northrop Grumman is deeply committed to helping the Navy transform its afloat C4I computers and networks into a single integrated, cyber-protected computing network," said Sam Abbate, vice president and general manager, command and control division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We look forward to continued collaboration with the Navy to deploy this crucial system to the fleet."

The CANES program eliminates many legacy, standalone networks and provides a common computing environment for dozens of C4I applications. This strengthens the network infrastructure, improves security, reduces existing hardware footprint and decreases total ownership costs. The CANES effort enhances operational effectiveness and quality of life for deployed sailors.

"CANES is a significantly faster, more secure and flexible network," said Dave Wegmann, director, maritime command and control systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "Our original network design remains important to ensure CANES affordability and agility in delivering the next generation of C4I capabilities."

Northrop Grumman uses the Modular Open Systems Approach-Competitive TM process for its CANES solution to achieve the lifecycle benefits of open-systems architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components and software. The strategic business and engineering process ensures vendor-neutral, enduring solutions that improve interoperability and lower the total cost of ownership.

The Navy selected Northrop Grumman for the design and development and limited deployment phase of CANES in early 2012.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

Herbert Smith Freehills advises China Telecom

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised China Telecom Global in relation to its role in a consortium which has agreed to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific submarine telecommunications cable worth approximately US$300 million.

The cable, known as FASTER, will be one of the fastest and highest capacity sub-sea cable systems in the world, transmitting data at 60 terabits per second. Designed to address the high demand for broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange on the Trans-Pacific route, the new cable will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Damien Bailey advised on the deal. He said: “It was great to be involved with another China Telecom project aimed at aiding its international expansion. Deals like this are a sign that there is ongoing strong demand for significant international connectivity.”

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready for service during the second quarter of 2016.

Other members of the consortium include China Mobile International, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel.

Request for Information on Networked Maritime Operations

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) is considering the development of a system-of-systems architecture and critical components to support networked maritime operations, to include undersea, surface, and above surface domains.

DARPA STO is considering the development of architectures, infrastructure and technology components to support affordable, adaptive and persistent maritime operations in contested environments. The goal is to maintain and enhance US maritime superiority using distributed and disaggregated systems as force multipliers for scarce capital assets, or that may provide unique stand-alone capability. The system-of-systems architecture is designed to provide the capability to rapidly adapt to new threats or new missions without the long development cycles typical of current systems. The ability to rapidly and cost-effectively adapt to new missions and new threats is central to successful operations in an era of globally proliferated technology. Capacity enhancement through affordability and networked synergies will ensure the ability of the United States to maintain superiority in contested environments.

DARPA believes that there are some core tenets to successful networked operations in the maritime environment:

• Integration with current assets and operations, providing commanders with the potential to enhance tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure mission success. This implies a mix of high-end and low-end sensors, weapons and manned and unmanned platforms, and the tools to manage this mix effectively over a network.
• The cost to an adversary of finding and defeating the asset must be higher than the fielding cost.
• Ubiquitous, survivable, and persistent communications and networking throughout the undersea, surface and above surface domains.
• Long-endurance (months to years) off-board assets capable of operating autonomously, or with minimal operator intervention.
• Cost-effective proliferation of assets to cover significant maritime operational areas and create a persistent operational footprint in areas of interest.
• Specialized, upgradeable assets to provide a rapidly adaptable capability that covers the complete mission area from surveillance to strike.
• Efficient, survivable methods of delivering off-board platforms, sensors and effects packages.

DARPA/STO is interested in information that can be used to assess the viability and timeliness of this vision. Specifically, novel system-of-systems architectures can be presented that provide an alternative realization of networked operations at sea. Responses may also focus on specific aspects of implementing the vision. The following key points should be considered in the three-page submission:

1. What standards, technologies and architecture elements are required to create a maritime network capable of supporting survivable, persistent, ubiquitous networked operations across the undersea, surface and above surface domains?
2. What critical functions reside in the network?
3. How can integration with current platforms and operations be addressed efficiently and adaptively when developing off-board networked sensors and platforms?
4. What design methodologies are critical to rapidly, reliably and cost-effectively adapting the network and network elements to emerging missions and threats?
5. What maritime platforms, sensors and effects packages create the greatest cost and mission leverage in contested environments?
6. What are the challenges to developing reliable, specialized autonomous unmanned systems?
7. How can synergistic or novel effects be achieved through networked operations?
8. How can off board systems be rapidly, survivably and cost-effectively delivered to contested areas?
9. What tools are available to manage distributed maritime systems and networks, and what tools need to be developed?
10. What are the requirements for network defense and information assurance given physical compromise of unmanned network elements is possible?
11. How can the network be used to effectively deny and disrupt adversary maritime networks?

DARPA/STO intends to use the results of this RFI to inform a decision of whether or not to pursue networked maritime operations in support of DARPA/STO goals and objectives.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMAT

Submissions should be emailed as an attachment in a commonly used format to DARPA-SN-14-57@darpa.mil no later than September 19, 2014. DARPA/STO is interested in all responses. Submissions should adhere to the following format:

Section 1: Cover Page to include individual's name, business address, organization affiliation, and email address (One Page).

Section 2: Consideration of the key points listed above. Do not include classified information in this response. Respondents who need to submit classified information in order to adequately address these questions should contact Mr. David Stiffler (703) 526-2838 for instructions. (Maximum of 3 pages; recommend a maximum of two figures).

DISCLAIMER

This RFI is issued solely for information gathering and planning purposes; this RFI does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals. In accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.201(e), responses to this RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI or reimbursement for travel. Respondents are advised that DARPA is under no obligation to provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. Response to this RFI is strictly voluntary and is not required to propose to subsequent solicitations related to this RFI, if any. Submissions will be reviewed by DARPA and DARPA support contractors. All personnel with access to the submissions will be covered by a legally-binding nondisclosure agreement.

Responses containing proprietary information must be appropriately marked and can be encrypted by following the directions below. The encryption step is optional and not required for submission.

Responses submitted electronically can be encrypted using WinZip or PKZip with 256-bit AES encryption. An email to DARPA-SN-14-57@darpa.mil must also be submitted separately with the encryption password at the time of submission. Note the word "PASSWORD" must appear in the subject line of the above email. Failure to provide the encryption password may result in the response not being reviewed.

POINT OF CONTACT

Inquiries should be submitted to DARPA-SN-14-57@darpa.mil

OR

DARPA/STO Attn: DARPA-SN-14-57 675 North Randolph Street Arlington, Virginia 22203-2114 United States

ABB launches world´s most powerful underground and subsea power transmission cable system

525 kV voltage sets world record for extruded HVDC cable technology, doubling power flow and extending range to enable greater integration of distant renewables and interconnections

Zurich, Switzerland, August 21, 2014 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has announced a breakthrough in cable technology. It has successfully developed and tested a 525 kilovolt (kV) extruded high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system to make renewable energy installations more efficient and cost-effective.

This latest innovation will more than double the power capacity to about 2,600 megawatts (MW) from 1,000 MW. It will also expand the cable's reach to distances of 1,500 kilometers, up from less than 1,000 kilometers, while keeping transmission losses under 5 percent.

The new cable offers a 64 percent increase over 320 kV, currently the highest voltage deployed for this type of technology. The 525kV cable system can be deployed in subsea and underground applications, making it ideal for efficient power delivery through densely populated or environmentally sensitive areas or coastal and open-sea applications.

“This major technology breakthrough will change the feasibility of renewable energy projects and play a defining role in using underground and subsea high voltage cables to integrate renewables over long distances,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkoHonVODuk 

By enabling more power over greater distances with reduced losses, ABB’s new 525 kV cable technology offers solutions for countries and utilities seeking to enable their electricity transmission systems to integrate more renewable energy being generated by distant solar and wind installations. A single pair of 525 kV extruded HVDC cables could for example transmit enough power from giant offshore wind farms in to supply two million households.

The new technology offers savings in capital and operational expenses. It also supports the development of DC grids where ABB removed a key technology hurdle with the development of the hybrid HVDC breaker.

The innovative cable system consists of cables, utilizing a new DC cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) insulation material developed with Borealis, a recognized industry leader, as well as termination and joints manufactured by ABB.

HVDC cable links are essential components of future sustainable energy systems that will need to transmit vast amounts of electricity over long distances, often across or between countries. ABB is a global leader in high-voltage cable systems with a worldwide installed base across applications including city center infeeds, oil and gas platform power supplies, subsea interconnections and the integration of renewables. ABB has commissioned more than 25 DC cable connections and almost 100 AC cable links around the world.

ABB will present the 525kV extruded HVDC cable system at the Cigré technology symposium in Paris, from August 25-29, 2014.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

 

 

Next generation satellite communications system to see testing aboard

COAST GUARD CUTTER HEALY, At Sea - From studying the effects of solar activity to improve radio transmissions to enhancing the capabilities of Automated Identification Systems, the importance of having a reliable communications infrastructure in the Arctic has not been lost on researchers traveling aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy as part of Arctic Shield 2014. The ability to send and receive a clear message quickly to prevent or respond to a maritime emergency is vital to the safety of crews transiting the Arctic.

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is the U.S. Navy’s next generation narrowband military satellite communications system that will replace the legacy Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UHF-FO) communications system before that system reaches its end of service life. Engineers from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the creators of MUOS, are aboard the Healy to test the system’s capabilities in the Arctic for the Department of Defense.

“A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of eight satellites,” said Dr. Amy Sun, narrowband advanced program lead for Lockheed Martin traveling aboard the Healy. “The MUOS constellation is designed to provide smartphone-like communications to mobile forces at rates 10 times faster than the legacy system.”

MUOS delivers secure voice and data transmissions to mobile users using an advanced waveform similar to commercial cellphone technology. The MUOS waveform leverages the widely used commercial Wideband Code Division Multiple Access cellphone technology and allows different radios to communicate with the greater MUOS system as well as other network users. Unlike the UFO satellite constellation, the MUOS system allows routing to and from any radio terminal in the system regardless of which satellites are in view.

“This means users could traverse the globe using one radio, without needing to switch out because of different coverage areas,” Sun explained. “This goes far in increasing the value that MUOS provides mobile users, not just in traditional theaters of operation, but those at the furthest extents of the planet.”

Sponsored by NORAD/NORTHCOM, tests aboard the Healy will begin at latitude 65 degrees North and travel as far north as possible. Another team situated at 82.5 degrees north in Canada will provide Sun and her colleagues an opportunity to evaluate MUOS at the edge of its coverage and gain experience as the satellite rises and falls from view.

The additional coverage provided by MUOS comes at a time when a need for dependable Arctic communications is growing. If successful, the system could provide the Coast Guard and its partners with one more valuable tool for providing safety and security to those under their watch. 

Repair Work to WACS Undersea Cable to Start 16 August 2014

13 August 2014

Repair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend.

A cable fault, affecting all traffic transiting via the Swakopmund WACS Cable Station, was detected on the WACS during the morning of 29 May 2014. Traffic was restored with an interim solution until the fault is localised and the cable system can be repaired.

Telecom Namibia in coordination with the WACS Consortium are preparing for the cable repair activity both on land (Swakopmund beach area) and at sea, starting on 16 August 2014. The repair work is expected to be completed by 23 August 2014, depending on various factors including, but not limited to, weather conditions, the outcome of the preliminary onsite inspection and deployment of the repair vessel.

The cable repair procedure normally consists of the followings:
1. Localisation of the cable failure point
2. Recovery of the failure cable onto the vessel
3. Cutting and removal of the cable failure section
4. Jointing of the recovered cable and the spare cable in the cable tank of the vessel
5. Confirmation test and reburial of the cable

The repair activities for such a shallow water cable will require large industrial equipment to be deployed on the Swakopmund beach, while the large cable repair vessel will again operate very close to shore (about 1.5 km) to attend to the laying and jointing at the shore-end of the cable. The beach area will be closed for the duration of the repair activities.

The WACS is transporting the majority of Internet traffic for Namibia, Botswana and Zambia and is considered of national importance. During the repair work, Telecom Namibia will reroute Internet traffic through other undersea cable systems to mitigate the impacts on customers.

The WACS is a 14,530-kilometer long submarine communications cable system, connecting South Africa to Europe via West African countries including Namibia and was officially put into operation on 26 June 2012. The total cost for the cable system was US$650 million.

A Global Consortium to Build New Trans-Pacific Cable System "FASTER"

August 11, 2014 – A consortium of six global companies announced that they have signed commercial agreements to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific cable system to be called “FASTER” with NEC Corporation as the system supplier. The FASTER cable network will connect the United States to two landing locations in Japan. The total amount of investment for the FASTER system is estimated to be approximately USD $300 million.

In order to address the intense traffic demands for broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange on the Trans-Pacific route, FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs).

This new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

The six-company consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel. The name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system’s purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

Mr. Woohyong Choi, the chairman of the FASTER executive committee, said, "FASTER is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world. These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global Internet and communications. The consortium partners are glad to work together to add a new cable to our global infrastructure. The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world. The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

“NEC Corporation is proud to be the system supplier for the FASTER cable system, a state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth," said Mr. Naoki Yoshida, general manager at NEC’s Submarine Network Division. “Backed by more than 30 years of experience in constructing over 200,000 kilometers of cables, NEC is one of the world’s top vendors of submarine cable systems.”

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016.

NORSAT SECURES $1.7M ORDER FOR X-BAND MARINE VSAT TERMINALS

Vancouver, British Columbia – August 6, 2014

Norsat International Inc. (“Norsat”) (TSX: NII and OTC BB: NSATF), a leading provider of innovative communication solutions that enable the transmission of data, audio and video for remote and challenging applications, is pleased to announce a $1.7M order from Datacom Systems International Limited for Norsat’s MarineLink COM10X 1 meter X-Band satellite terminal.

Norsat will provide its industry leading COM10X marine VSAT (very small aperture terminal) to Datacom for installation on Naval ships for an Asian-based country. The new COM10X conforms to military standards MIL-STD-901D and MIL-STD-167 for immunity to the high impact shock and vibrations that occur onboard military ships. The Norsat terminals include advanced features such as a high gain antenna, specialized transmit/receive reject filters, a remotely accessible web interface, an integrated satellite database, and a rugged low-loss radome. Norsat’s world-leading Low Noise Block downconverter (LNB) will also be integrated into each terminal.

Mr. Boris Ng, Datacom Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our customer had rigorous requirements for the performance, reliability, and durability of their marine VSAT terminal and Norsat was our logical choice for meeting those requirements. Datacom has been a longstanding customer of Norsat and has always found that Norsat products, services, and support are superior to the competition.”

Dr. Amiee Chan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norsat added, “Norsat is pleased to be working with Datacom, a major satellite communications solutions provider that has delivered multiple, successful large-scale VSAT projects in Asia over the past 15 years. Norsat’s product line of Marine VSAT terminals offer superior design and performance that can be tailored to make any challenging marine application possible and we’re looking forward to working with Datacom on their first Naval VSAT project.”

Datacom will install ship-wide cable runs from above deck to below deck, deploy mounting pedestals, install air conditioners, integrate a satellite modem, and will conduct testing and commissioning of each VSAT system on multiple ships. In addition to providing the terminals, Norsat will provide training and installation supervision.

For more information on Norsat Marine terminals or other satellite components and systems visit www.norsat.com or call 1-800-644-4562 or 604-821-2805.

Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Market Surges in First Half of 2014

The first half of 2014 saw the submarine fiber optics market surge to its highest demand for new cable in six years.

This is the conclusion of the mid-year update to TSC’s annual Radar Screen Report (RSR), which analyzes the demand for submarine fiber optic cable based on new contract awards.

For the previous five years, the Radar Screen Report™ identified steady demand, rather than the traditional boom and bust pattern that had been a staple of the market since its inception. This steady-growth period was caused by various pressures pushing the market up, while similarly strong pressures pushed it down, keeping it to a steady middle ground. The result was an annual demand between 40,000 and 50,000 route-kilometers between the years 2009 and 2013 – far from a complete bust but not high enough for the industry to thrive.

TSC’s 2014 Radar Screen Report, published in January, noted slight changes in the landscape, particularly in the availability of financing, and correctly forecast the probability of breaking out from this steady-as-she-goes pattern to reach the highest levels of demand since the last boom in 2007-2008. The total number of route-kilometers contracted in the first half of 2014 is already greater than the average full-year totals during the previous five years.

RSR projections indicate the market is not likely to maintain this same momentum during the final two quarters of 2014 or in 2015. But the shifting dynamics and large number of cable projects in the development pipeline are positive indications that the market is, and should remain at least in the near term, healthy with the potential to thrive.

For more information about the 2014 TSC Radar Screen Report, go to http://www.subcableworld.com/radar-screen-report.

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