Angola Cables Trial Nokia’s PSE-3 on the SACS Subsea Cable

Angola Cables trial Nokia’s PSE-3 on the SACS subsea cable

17 January 2020 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Nokia has announced that Angola Cables is trialling its Photonic Service Engine 3 (PSE-3) chipset for the first direct optical connection between the USA and Africa.

Nokia’s PSE-3 chipset maximises capacity and performance to meet surging video, cloud and eventual 5G traffic demands. Once deployed, the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) route will provide direct, low-latency trans-Atlantic routing and greatly simplify the turn-up of services to better Africa demand.

“With Nokia’s PSE-3, Angola Cables can optically interconnect the MONET and SACS submarine fibre-optic cables, enabling more capacity and a further reduction in latency between content providers in North America and the rapidly growing data consumption markets in Africa,” said Fernando Azevedo, technical director at Angola Cables.

SACS, owned and managed by Angola Cables, operates between Fortaleza, Brazil, and Luanda, Angola, and is connected to the AngoNAP data centre. The consortium-owned MONET cable connects Santos/Fortaleza with Florida/USA. Combining SACS and MONET subsea systems in this joint trial allows for the first time 300Gbps of traffic between Miami and Luanda.

The test adds more capacity to an already low latency network. Lower-latency network connections improve performance and user experience in applications such as cloud computing and content consumption. According to the ITU, sub-Sarahan Africa has recorded the highest growth in internet use globally over the past decade, from under 10% of the population in 2010, to over 28% in 2019. Enhanced subsea connectivity is crucial for access to global content and services of this growing user base.

The subsea wavelengths were deployed with Nokia's 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect (PSI) data centre interconnect (DCI) platform utilising the PSE-3. The 1830 PSI provisioned optical wavelengths at 300Gbps using probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS) to optimally shape the signals to the specific characteristics of the 12,635km cable, achieving operation near the theoretical limits of the system.

Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia, added: “Africa is a strategic growth market for Nokia across both our core CSP and web scale businesses. We are proud to partner with Angola Cables to apply our ground-breaking PSE-3 technology to a unique and challenging subsea route, helping to deliver enhanced services to a rapidly developing part of the world.”

The news comes after Angola Cables and Nokia announced plans in November to build a direct optical fibre connection between Africa and North America, while Vox entered into a partnership with Angola Cables that will enhance its core network by attaining remote peering access to SACS.