Tenders opened for the Arctic cable
Supply tenders are announced for the ROTACS telecommunication project intended to connect Europe and Asia via Murmansk.
ROTACS will connect Europe and Asia via the shortest possible geographical route across the Arctic, opening a new chapter in the history of global submarine telecommunications, says Polarnet, the project operator.
At the first stage of the project implementation, 6 fibre pairs of an undersea 17.000 km-long cable system will link England, Japan, China and Russia through cable stations in the cities of Bude (England), Tokyo (Japan), and Russia's Murmansk, Vladivostok, and Anadyr. The estimated cost of this phase will be $860 million. At the second stage, for the price of $500 million there will be installed cable branches to connect the undersea-based trunk line with Russian telecom providers based on the shore. Stage 3 will need other $500 million to install an onshore line closing the circle of cables through the central part of Russia. The last stage will be backed up by Rosneft. Overall costs come up to $2 billion.
ROTACS is the first system to be built along the trans-Arctic geographic route. In mid-October 2011, the Russian Governmental Commission for Federal Communications and Information Technology granted its approval of the project.
Russian Optical Trans Arctic Submarine Cable System (ROTACS) project will start in Q2 this year and is optimistically scheduled to finish in 2014.
Meanwhile, a Canadian Arctic Fibre Inc is developing a 15,600 km submarine cable which is to provide a low latency route between Northern China and Japan to Northern Europe through Canada 's North West Passage.
Illustration: projected cable mapping by Polarnet.