Lake Titicaca: A New Optical Portal in the Andean Altiplano

Jorge Orlando García Lozano details the steps taken to lay the first fiber optic cable on the highest navigable lake above sea level.By Jorge Orlando García Lozano
March 29, 2021


From the evaluation carried out on government telecommunications projects in Latin America, it is easy to conclude that the risks run by the winning contractors have historically been extremely high and are largely due to the predisposition of regulators to minimize the engineering of the design and move its scope, budget, and opportunity into the execution phase, where design is integrated with both construction and supervision and contractors find then the way to become wizards.

2.0       SCOPE OF WORK

On May 9, 2018, Fitel (Telecommunications Investment Fund) an entity attached to the Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications and Orocom SAC, signed the non-reimbursable financing contract called ” Broadband for Comprehensive Connectivity and Social Development for the Regions of Puno, Tacna, Moquegua and Junin”. The four initiatives were awarded by Proinversión in December 2017. Proinversion is the Specialized technical body attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and in charge to promotes Projects of national relevance in Perú.

The “Consorcio Telecomunicaciones Rurales de Perú”, is the name agreed by Electricas de Medellin Perú (EDEMSA Perú), Amitel Perú Telecomunicaciones y Tuensa International Corporation, during the bidding process.  Ethuss Group, a Colombian company operating in the infrastructure, electricity, ICT, oil and gas, mining, and metals sectors, oversees to its subsidiary Edemsa Peru”.

Figure 1 – Basic Straight-Line Diagram

At present, more than 5500 kilometers of fiber optics have been installed to reach around 120.000 families, the majority from Puno and Junín. In addition, 1,100 state-run school facilities, 550 health establishments and 70 police units will benefit at the end of the next winter season in the south hemisphere.

Figure 1 particularly shows just the Scope of this paper, because due to its insular condition the Anapia Island, requires a special combi

nation of both ADSS and underwater cables.

3.0       AREA OF INFLUENCE AND MAIN SCENARIOThe Central Zone of the Andean Altiplano Plateau as per Figure 2, includes the basin of a complex hydric System known as TDPS (Titicaca, Desaguadero River, Poopó and Coipasa Salt Flat). Due to the conditions of humidity, solar radiation, temperature, and winds of the high plateau, the Desaguadero river belongs to an endorheic system, meaning, their waters are evaporated and does not drain into the Pacific Ocean, losing completely its flow when reach to Coipasa Salt Flat close Oruro city in Bolivia. All of them: Uyuni Salt Flat, Coipasa and Poopo Lakes besides Desaguadero River, are around 3700 m above level sea.

Figure 2 – ALT Autonomous Binational Authority of the Water System of Titicaca Lake

Lake Titicaca is internationally protected by UNESCO as “Underwater Cultural Heritage of Humanity” and locally, by the ALT or “Autonomous Binational Authority of the Water System of Titicaca Lake”; in this sense, the viability of any project in this region must consider as sustenance, a great cultural and social benefit, and a null impact on the environmental issue.

The medium voltage electrical interconnection projects implemented in 2008 and the telecommunications project in August 2020 on the island, are complementary and unique in the world and therefore opportunities for the development, social and tourism of this extraordinary place.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 117 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 24 or on our archive site here.