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Brazilian telcos seek suppliers for 3 new Amazon underwater cables

EAF, an entity created by Brazilian carriers, is looking for cable suppliers for three new routes of the Norte Conectado program, which consists of fiber backbone deployment in rivers in the Amazon basin.

EAF was formed by the telcos that submitted winning bids in the 5G spectrum auction to oversee mandatory tender investments, including building backbones in the Amazon network project.

The group is responsible for the construction of six of the project sections, known as Infovias. These six routes comprise 10,000km of underwater cables and involve investments of approximately 1.5bn reais (US$291mn).

The new call is for the acquisition of cables for Infovias 05, 06 and 08, which will be laid along the Madeira, Purus and Juruá rivers.

Initially announced in April, the deadline for the submission of offers for the call was extended to May 21 “due to the complexity of this process,” EAF in a statement.

Offers must be sent to [email protected].

The program
In total, the Norte Conectado program is designed to have nine Infovias, totaling 12,000km of fiber backbone and reaching 59 locations.

Italy’s Prysmian was the cable supplier for Infovia 00. The multinational was contracted in 2021 for US$5.54mn.

Chinese fiber optics manufacturer Hengtong was hired as the cable supplier for Infovia 01.

Founded in 1991, Wujiang-based Hengtong is the controlling shareholder of HMN, formerly Huawei Marine Networks (HMN), the spinoff subsidiary of China’s Huawei.

Brazil’s Padtec was selected as the supplier of the optical transmission equipment for the Infovia 02, 03 and 04 routes.

China’s ZTT International Submarine Cable & System is the provider of 2,345km of underwater cables and 456km of terrestrial cables for these three stretches.

Infovia 03 deployment
Last week, EAF announced it completed the deployment of Infovia 03.

Over three weeks, 594km of cables were released from a ferry with the support of buoys, divers and small boats. During this period, 1,300 optical tests were carried out to confirm the success of the operation, said EAF.

A second stage, carried out shortly after the cable launch, involved the activation of the optical transmission systems. Afterwards, the operation progressed to connecting the backbone with metropolitan networks in the cities of Belém, Curralinho, Breves and Macapá.

In total, Infovia 03 connects 69 sites, including schools, city halls, health centers and army bases. Investments in this route amounted to 98mn reais. Bnamericas

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