Orange Inaugurates Kanawa Submarine Cable System

France based Orange on 16th January 2019 inaugurated the submarine fiber optic cable system that is designed to strengthen the communication in French Guiana and the Antilles. Named as Kanawa submarine cable System, the fiber optic submarine cable system stretches 1,746 kilometers linking the French Guiana and Martinique.

Kanawa Submarine fiber optic cable system is fully financed by the Orange Group. Orange spent around US$40 million for this cable project. The inauguration was held in Kourou in the presence of François Ringuet, Mayor of Kourou, Orange’s French Guiana Antilles Director, Thierry Kergall and Chairman and CEO of Orange Stéphane Richard was also present during the inauguration ceremony.

Map showing Latin American countries and Caribbean countries with an orange line connected from French Guiana to Martinique

The deployment work was completed in less than two years. Kanawa cable system will support strong growth in the digital market and improve the quality of the network. The submarine cable system was named Kanawa in reference to the traditional Amerindian boats that provided a means of exchange between the islands. Kanawa cable link will now exchange digital data between Frech Guiana and the American continent.

The deployment is at its final lap and is expected to complete by the end of this month. The pending work is the final stages of the project before the operational and commercial startup of the cable. Commercial use will start as soon as the completion of the project. Orange will keep the options open for other operators and content providers who wish to utilize the cable system to deliver their services. Dark fibers could be spared for additional services.

Kanawa takes advantage of the current cutting-edge technology in optical transmission. Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM). WDM technology allows network owners to use their optical fiber inventory effectively. Optical fibers can theoretically transmit around 1.7 Tbps per wavelength. However, practical transmission constraints limit the transmission rates around 400Gbps. While lab-based testings have proved transmission rates of 800Gbps, a recent update from laboratories of NTT and Huawei claims the achievement of practical transmission of 600Gbps per wavelength.

WDM technology, especially DWDM will increase the transmission capacity of the existing optical fibers without requiring any new submarine cable. Kanawa cable has two pairs of optical fibres and transmits up to 100 * 100Gbit/s or 10 terabits/s and is one of the most powerful cables in the region.

Through the Kanawa project, Orange proved once again its expertise in execution of submarine cable project, from the design phase to laying it across the seabed and then its operational management. Orange Marine, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Orange Group laid the cable connecting Kourou to Schœlcher in Martinique.

Kanawa, a new internet highway, is also a real driver of growth and development for French Guiana. French Guiana is one of the most dynamic territories for digital technology. Orange built Kanawa to meet the need for speed and to provide international connectivity to the region.


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