SubTel Forum Magazine #115 - Data Centers and New Technology

Page 1








e recently had this little election here in the States. Despite of all the warranted angst around the pandemic we Yanks accomplished something we have done only a couple other times in our brief history by conducting an election in the middle of a national emergency. By my count this is only the third time (including 1864’s Civil War and 1944’s WWII appointments) that we have conducted such a polling, and politics aside and even with this terrible disease, we voted in staggering numbers. But the times continue to wear on in our world and the numbers continue to increase and we continue to plow on instead. I have been trying to get tipped for the London Marathon for years without success. In September I received an email out of the blue from the organizers inviting me to run the race virtually on the 5th of October, unexpectedly cutting my normal distance training by some three or four weeks. So, I thought “what could go wrong?” and proceeded to run solo that Sunday out my front door through my town for a very long 26.2 mile day. But I still had my annual Marine Corps run to do, this year also virtual; so, 13 days later and weeks before I was really healthy went out on the same route and ran solo once again. I won’t say I broke any PRs or found any new levels of enlightenment in the process. It just seemed like the right thing for me to do. Last year I cracked a rib and could not run. This year there was no way I would not run. In times like these you take the inspiration from just about anywhere. 2020 has turned into an absolutely unbelievable and unprecedented year because of the pandemic’s impact on the entire world. And then came last week an announcement that the first of several vaccines was showing 90% effectiveness. The world can now see a tiny, flickering light at the end of this very long tunnel!


In October, SubTel Forum published our 9th edition of


the annual Submarine Telecoms Industry Report (https://, which was authored by the analysts at STF Analytics, a Division of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. The format of the annual Industry Report has been updated once again, this time adding personal video commentaries from multiple industry representatives from around the world. In addition, ongoing and updating results of our recent industry survey of industry sentiment are punctuated throughout.


When Ted Breeze and I established our little magazine in 2001, our hope was to get enough interest to keep it going for a while. We were building on our previous successes of “Soundings” and “Real Time” from BT Marine and SAIC, respectively, and we realized that the industry that had sustained us was headed into a dark time; it would need a place to express itself like never before. So, we kicked around a few ideas, talked with a few trusted industry friends, and took a BIG chance. And in November 2001, just after 9/11 and the start of our largest industry

Ted Breeze

A Publication of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. ISSN No. 1948-3031 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER: Wayne Nielsen |

downturn, and with a budget consisting of the balance of a severance package from me and some “borrowed” software and pics from him, we published our first issue, which consisted of eight articles and seven complimentary advertisements. In our now 19th year we’ve upped our game in ways never originally imagined, tried novel approaches to businesses new to us, even recreated our mission statement as a part of our drive toward providing continuing education: “To provide a freely accessible forum for the illumination and education of professionals in industries connected with submarine optical fiber technologies and techniques.” We continue to publish SubTel Forum with two key founding principles always in mind, which annually I reaffirm to you, our readers: • That we will provide a wide range of ideas and issues; • That we will seek to incite, entertain and provoke in a positive manner. Thank you to the more than 100+ Sponsors and 550+ Authors who have contributed to SubTel Forum over the last 19 years! Thanks also for their support to this issue’s advertisers: Concept Experts, Pearce Services, Esri and Point One. Lastly, we highlight the updates to the online cable map with both recent big and little cable announcements; and of course, our ever popular “where in the world are all those pesky cableships” is included as well. So, here’s to you, our readers and supporters, thank you as always for honoring us with your interest and stay well. STF

Wayne Nielsen, Publisher

VICE PRESIDENT: Kristian Nielsen | SALES: Teri Jones | | [+1] (703) 471-4902 EDITOR: Stephen Nielsen | DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Weswen Design | DEPARTMENT WRITERS: Alex Vaxmonsky Bill Burns, Kieran Clark, Rebecca Spence, Stewart Ash, Terri Jones and Wayne Nielsen FEATURE WRITERS: Ben Basson, Dennis Chan, Derek Cassidy, Derek Webster, Domingos Coelho, Gil Santaliz, Hector Hernandez, Hicham Maalouf, Jean-Marie Vilain, Jerry Brown, Kristian Nielsen, Rendong Xu, Shawn Xu, René d’Avezac de Moran, Stacia Canaday and Wendy Wang


NEXT ISSUE: November 2021 — Global Outlook AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INDEX: Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc.



BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Margaret Nielsen, Wayne Nielsen and Kristian Nielsen SubTel Forum Analytics, Division of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. LEAD ANALYST: Kieran Clark | | [+1] (703) 468-1382 RESEARCH ANALYST: Rebecca Spence | | [+1] (703) 268-9285 SubTel Forum Continuing Education, Division of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. CONTINUING EDUCATION DIRECTOR: Kristian Nielsen | | [+1] (703) 444-0845

Contributions are welcomed and should be forwarded to: Submarine Telecoms Forum magazine is published bimonthly by Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc., and is an independent commercial publication, serving as a freely accessible forum for professionals in industries connected with submarine optical fiber technologies and techniques. Submarine Telecoms Forum may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the permission of the publishers. Liability: While every care is taken in preparation of this publication, the publishers cannot be held

responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any errors which may occur in advertising or editorial content, or any consequence arising from any errors or omissions, and the editor reserves the right to edit any advertising or editorial material submitted for publication. New Subscriptions, Enquiries and Changes of Address: 21495 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 201, Sterling, Virginia 20166, USA, or call [+1] (703) 444-0845, fax [+1] (703) 349-5562, or visit Copyright © 2020 Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc.














By Derek Webster






A VIRTUAL REALITY By Hector Hernandez and Kristian Nielsen




NEW AGE OF THE CLS By Gil Santaliz

By René d’Avezac de Moran





By Rendong Xu, Shawn Xu, Wendy Wang and Jerry Brown

By Dennis Chan





By Domingos Coelho

By Jean-Marie Vilain and Hicham Maalouf

departments EXORDIUM........................................................ 2

BACK REFLECTION........................................... 70

SUBTELFORUM.COM.......................................... 6

AN APPRECIATION........................................... 76

STF ANALYTICS.................................................. 8

SUBMARINE CABLE NEWS NOW....................... 80

CABLE MAP UPDATE......................................... 12

ADVERTISER CORNER...................................... 82

WHERE IN THE WORLD..................................... 14 NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115

5 to to find find links resources Visit linkstotothe thefollowing following resources


The most popular articles, Q&As of 2019. Find out what you missed!


Keep on top of our world of coverage with our free News Now daily industry update. News Now is a daily RSS feed of news applicable to the submarine cable industry, highlighting Cable Faults & Maintenance, Conferences & Associations, Current Systems, Data Centers, Future Systems, Offshore Energy, State of the Industry and Technology & Upgrades.


Submarine Cable Almanac is a free quarterly publication made available through diligent data gathering and



mapping efforts by the analysts at SubTel Forum Analytics, a division of Submarine Telecoms Forum. This reference tool gives details on cable systems including a system map, landing points, system capacity, length, RFS year and other valuable data. Submarine Telecoms Industry Report is an annual free publication with analysis of data collected by the analysts of SubTel Forum Analytics, including system capacity analysis, as well as the actual productivity and outlook of current and planned systems and the companies that service them.


The online SubTel Cable Map is built with the industry standard Esri ArcGIS platform and linked to the SubTel Forum Submarine Cable Database. It tracks the progress of

some 300+ current and planned cable systems, more than 800 landing points, over 1,700 data centers, 46 cable ships as well as mobile subscriptions and internet accessibility data for 254 countries. Systems are also linked to SubTel Forum’s News Now Feed, allowing viewing of current and archived news details. The printed Cable Map is an annual publication showcasing the world’s submarine fiber systems beautifully drawn on a large format map and mailed to SubTel Forum Readership and/or distributed during the Pacific Telecommunications Conference in January each year.


Watch all our industry relevant videos and streams. SubTel Forum streams the Submarine Cable Sunday sessions during the Pacific Telecommunications Conference in January each year on both YouTube and Facebook, as well

as other special events during the year. SubTel Forum tutorials teach how to use the ever growing SubTel Cable Map, including various map layers for data centers, cable ships, etc.


SubTel Forum designs educational courses and master classes that can then appear at industry conferences around the world. Classes are presented on a variety of topics dealing with key industry technical, business, or commercial issues. See what classes SubTel Forum is accrediting in support of the next generation of leaders in our industry.


The Authors Index is a reference source to help readers locate magazine articles and authors on various subjects.


SubTel Forum Subscribers have exclusive access to SubTel Forum online MSRs updated quarterly:

DATA CENTER & OTT PROVIDERS: details the increasingly

shrinking divide between the cable landing station and backhaul to interconnection services in order to maximize network efficiency and throughput, bringing once disparate infrastructure into a single facility. If you’re interested in the world of Data Centers and its impact on Submarine Cables, this MSR is for you.

GLOBAL CAPACITY PRICING: historic and current capacity pricing for regional routes (Transatlantic, Transpacific, Americas, Intra-Asia and EMEA), delivering a comprehensive look at the global capacity pricing status of the submarine fiber industry. Capacity pricing trends and forecasting, simplified.

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: dive into the health and wellness of the

global submarine telecoms market, with regional analysis and forecasting. This MSR gives an overview of planned systems, CIF and project completion rates, state of supplier activity and potential disruptive factors facing the market.

OFFSHORE OIL & GAS: provides a detailed overview of the

offshore oil & gas sector of the submarine fiber industry and covers system owners, system suppliers and various market trends. This MSR details how the industry is focusing on trends and new technologies to increase efficiency and automation as a key strategy to reduce cost and maintain margins, and its impact on the demand for new offshore fiber systems.

REGIONAL SYSTEMS: drill down into the Regional Systems

market, including focused analysis on the Transatlantic, Transpacific, EMEA, AustralAsia, Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian and Arctic regions. This MSR details the impact of increasing capacity demands on regional routes and contrasts potential overbuild concerns with the rapid pace of system development and the factors driving development demand.

SUBMARINE CABLE DATASET: details 400+ fiber optic cable

systems, including physical aspects, cost, owners, suppliers, landings, financiers, component manufacturers, marine contractors, etc.

COMING SOON! Cable Analysis Toolbox, Cable Planner’s Toolbox, Mapping Tools, and more features in 2020 and beyond! STF

JULY 2020 | ISSUE 113






he world has gone through an unprecedented disruption with the COVID-19 pandemic. This has both caused a huge increase in capacity demand as people work from home and companies rely even more on cloud services, and also a disruption in the submarine fiber industry’s ability to produce new systems and maintain existing ones. Stringent quarantine procedures have hampered all maritime operations, adding weeks or even months to a project’s timeline. It is very likely that a number of cable systems and data center facilities that were planned for this year and next year will be pushed back a year or more as suppliers struggle to deal with the sudden backlog, economic downturn and worker safety issues. While this temporary lull in activity is negative for the short-term, there are a number of long-term benefits that can be realized due to the global pandemic. Remote collaboration and enterprise cloud service providers have seen a large increase in bandwidth requirements since the pandemic started earlier in 2020. As Eric Handa and Sean Bergin discussed in the May issue of SubTel Forum, traffic for collaboration tools was up over 350% with Zoom alone up over 800% during the peak of the global pandemic. (Handa & Bergin, 2020) However, while there has been an overall influx of demand for cloud



services – especially on the enterprise level – many small and mid-size businesses have been shutting down, either temporarily or permanently, dragging down cloud revenue. (Omdia, 2020) As people get used to this new normal of virtual interactivity, demand for bandwidth and cloud services will only continue to skyrocket and drive the need for additional submarine cables and data center facilities.

market in Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent during the period 2018-2024. (Arizton, 2019) Capacity along Transatlantic routes will increase at a CAGR of 22.7 percent over the next several years. (Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc., 2020) Based on current projections, total capacity along Transatlantic routes will increase from 652 Tbps in 2020 to 3027 Tbps in 2025.


The growth of data center capacity correlates to submarine cable capacity growth with a coefficient of 0.98. This indicates that data center capacity growth in Europe markets directly

According to the European Commission, by end 2020, data centers in Europe will use 259 TWh of electricity. (Garris, 2018) The data center

correlates to an increase in submarine cable capacity along Transatlantic routes. (Figure 1)


The needs of the Hyperscalers are very different from those of traditional carriers that had been the primary owners of submarine cables in the past. System builds driven by these owners are used to connect to their own infrastructure rather than connecting to major hubs and it is not uncommon for these types of builds to be on a completely new route. Hyperscalers also focus heavily on route diversity and are generally building two or more cables per route. In some cases, a Hyperscaler becoming part of a cable consortium helps to ensure a system enters service. This is especially beneficial for infrastructure connecting developing markets and is mutually beneficial. The Hyperscaler gains access to a new market and the host location gains international connectivity. Cable systems like Monet and Seabras-1 serving South America and the Indigo and Japan-Guam-Australia serving the South Pacific are prime examples of this. These companies are also having a significant impact on the way cables are designed and constructed. The push for “open systems” is an effort to standardize architecture across vendors so that cable owners can use equipment from every supplier as needed instead of as available. From a Hyperscaler perspective, this is a necessity due to the rapid pace of their new cable builds. With 18 percent of all new cable builds through 2023 driven by Hyperscalers, the buildout period that started

Figure 1: European Data Center and Transatlantic Submarine Cable Capacity Growth, 2020-2025

in 2016 may be winding down soon. (Figure 2) However, more new systems are announced every year and Amazon has only just entered the market with the Jupiter cable system. So, while there may be a temporary lull in Hyperscaler builds, expect them to start again in earnest in another two to three years.




Emerging markets in South America, Africa, India and Asia – both Southeast and East – are all high interest areas for data center and Hyperscaler growth. These regions possess tremendous new growth potential and billions of potential new users. For many countries, the first step to attracting new business opportunities and IT services is access to international connectivity through a submarine cable. Moreover, a submarine cable landing in a new country is often a sign of relaxing regulation and a more business minded government – providing potential opportunities for data center and Hyperscalers alike. While emerging markets provide an avenue for many new users, existing markets such as those in North America and Europe still see large potential for growth. As more apps and services

Non-Hyperscaler Hyperscaler Figure 2: Systems Driven by Hyperscalers, 2021-2023

are moved to “the cloud,” demand for more data centers and international connectivity will continue to rise. Gartner estimates worldwide Public Cloud Services revenue will reach $257.9 billion USD in 2020 and grow to $364 billion USD by 2023. (Figure 3) (Gartner, 2020) All this reinforces the idea that the cloud is here to stay and will need even more infrastructure to support massive growth in already established markets – let alone new ones. Overall, the future looks quite healthy for the data center and NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


ANALYTICS Hyperscaler sector of the submarine fiber industry. Revenue growth for these providers is strong globally, and Hyperscalers continue to drive a significant portion of new cable builds. Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are building new cables to stay ahead of their infrastructure needs. While data center providers such as Equinix and Digital Realty have no current plans to get involved in cable ownership, they will continue to provide cable landing and interconnection support. These providers are becoming increasingly integrated with the submarine fiber industry and can be a benefit to prospective cable owners and operators looking to connect to an existing telecommunications hub or develop a new one. After all, there is not much point in landing a cable if there is nowhere to send your data. These industry dynamics are driving new technology innovation at a faster pace than ever before. New optical equipment, new repeaters, new power equipment and cable design are just a part of the transformations brought about as a result of data center and Hyperscaler influence. The network infrastructure required by these companies will ensure the need for constant innovation. If you would like an even more detailed look at the relationship between the submarine cable and data center markets, new trends and technology or even design considerations for new data center builds be sure to check out SubTel Forum Analytics’ Data Center and Content Providers report. STF


Figure 3: Worldwide Public Cloud Service Revenue Forecast (Gartner, 2020)

KIERAN CLARK is the Lead Analyst for STF Analytics, a division of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. He originally joined SubTel Forum in 2013 as a Broadcast Technician to provide support for live event video streaming. He has 6+ years of live production experience and has worked alongside some of the premier organizations in video web streaming. In 2014, Kieran was promoted to Analyst and is currently responsible for the research and maintenance that supports the STF Analytics Submarine Cable Database. In 2016, he was promoted to Lead Analyst and put in charge of the newly created STF Analytics. His analysis is featured in almost the entire array of SubTel Forum publications. WORKS CITED Arizton. (2019). Data Center Construction Market in Europe - Industry Outlook and Forecast 2019-2024. ReportLinker. Retrieved from Data-Center-Construction-Market-in-Europe-Industry-Outlook-and-Forecast.html?utm_source=PRN Gartner. (2020, July 23). Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 6.3% in 2020. Retrieved from Gartner: Handa, E., & Bergin, S. (2020, May 16). The Impact of COVID-19 on Telecommunications and the Future. Submarine Telecoms Forum, pp. 22-25. Retrieved from subtelforum/docs/subtel_forum_issue_112 Omdia. (2020, July 14). The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Cloud Revenue Is a Mixed Bag. Retrieved from Data Center Knowledge: covid-19-pandemic-s-impact-cloud-revenue-mixed-bag Stalcup, K. (2020, August 11). AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2020: What the Latest Data Shows. Retrieved from ParkMyCloud: aws-vs-azure-vs-google-cloud-market-share/ Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. (2020). Submarine Telecoms Industry Report. Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. Retrieved from

Garris, L. (2018, August 16). The Current State of Data Center Energy Efficiency in Europe. Retrieved from Open Compute:



PM 2.0 by


Defined Processes Template Driven PMP Based Project Management Approach Rigorous Documentation Controls Quality Assurance Focused Secure Records Storage Accessible and User Friendly


• In-Field Analysis Without In-Field Risk • Remote real-time analysis and reporting without the added cost of today’s in-field representation liabilities.



FEATURE SubTel Cable Map Updates


he SubTel Cable Map is built with the industry standard Esri ArcGIS platform and linked to the SubTel Forum Submarine Cable Database. It tracks the progress of some 300+ current and planned cable systems, 45+ cable ships, over 800 landing points, as well as mobile subscriptions and internet accessibility data for 254 countries. Systems are also linked to SubTel Forum’s News Now Feed, allowing viewing of current and archived news details. This interactive map is a continual work and progress and regularly updated with pertinent data captured by analysts at SubTel Forum and feedback from our users. Our goal is to make easily available not only data from the Submarine Cable Almanac, but also more and more new layers of system information. For this update, we have transitioned the map to the ArcGIS Dashboard platform. This allows users to see an array of key data points without having to dig through complicated menus and settings to drill down into the data that is important to you. Be sure to check out the slide over panel on the left hand side of the map to filter data based on Region, System Supplier, System Installer or System Owner.

Want to know how much capacity is available along Transpacific routes or how many kilometers of cable a supplier has produced over the last five year? Now all it takes is couple simple clicks to see your data! We hope you continue to make use of the SubTel Cable Map in order to learn more about the industry yourself and educate others on the importance of submarine cable systems. Please feel free to reach out to our Lead Analyst, Kieran Clark, should you have any comments, questions or updates at STF

Since the last issue of the Magazine, the map has updated 60 cable systems. The full list of updated systems are as follows:



NOVEMBER 16, 2020 SYSTEMS UPDATED 2Africa AAG AC-1 AC-2 ADRIA-1 AJC Alasia ALBA-1 Aletar APG Arctic Connect ASC ATISA Avassa BALOK BKK Digitek CANI Ceiba-2 COBRACable Coral Sea Crosslake Fibre Curie

DARE1 DGASA Dos Continentes Dunant Eastern Light EAUFON EllaLink FOA Grace Hopper Guantรกnamo Bay Cable H2 Cable HAVFRUE/AEC-2 HAVTOR Hawaiki Indigo Central Indigo West JGA North JGA South Junior Katittuq Nunavut Malbec Manatua One METISS MKCS

North Sea Connect PCCS PLCN PPC-1 SAEx1 SAEx2 SAIL SAM-1 SAPL SEA-ME-WE 3 SEAX-1 SJC2 SkagenFiber Southern Cross Southern Cross NEXT





nly a few weeks left in the year of endless days, and we are finally starting to see some significant movement in the international cableship fleet. Maritime industries are beginning to figure out how to work through new restrictions and keep their teams safe, which is leading to more So let us talk cableships! As always, the number of vessels in transit on any given day is solely a snapshot in time. Each vessel declares a new destination every few days, even while working on the same project. At the time this data was collected, there were 9 vessels in transit and 36 at their most recently declared destination. (Figure 1) This trend has remained quite flat since the first not been seen in recent months and is an excellent sign dataset was seen in March, staying between 75-85%. that projects are restarting and actively working. Another Of the 9 vessels that are considered in transit, almost significant milestone is the declaration from Cableship half of them have stated that they do not expect to reach Recorder that from October 11 through present they have their destinations until early 2021. Another 4 will reach their destination at the beginning of November, and the last ship will arrive shortly after. (Figure 2) Several of the vessels reported that they were at their destinations, but recorded their activities as “Cable Work Area,” “Underwater Operation,” or “Cable Repair.” These are Figure 2: Weeks left in Transit Figure 1: Arrived at Destination new notes that have



been working on segment 1.1 and segment 2 of the Malbec Cable System which is in its final stages of implementation. Hopefully, these changes are a sign of better times to come with regards to forward progress in our industry. This go round there were 24 regions around the world in which a cableship passed through. The four busiest regions remain the same, if not in a different order over past two months with a handful of smaller shifts in the less frequented regions. Eastern & Western Australia, the Red Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Marmara Sea have dropped off the chart to be replaced by the Adriatic Sea and American East Coast. The Persian Gulf dropped from 9% of reported activity to 2% which allowed the Baltic sea to jump from 4% to 7%. These fluctuations are all expected as some areas only appear on the chart as vessels pass through them while en route elsewhere. This current data does include records from the Cableship Responder before its unfortunate demise on September 14, 2020. The loss of this vessel brings the cable fleet down to 45 vessels with largest majority now owned by Alcatel, Subcom now in second and Figure 3: Regions of Activity Global Marine remain-

ing in third position owning 11% of the fleet. As the year draws to a close, we hope the available data continues to grow as projects begin to build steam once again and new projects are finally able to take off. As always, you can follow the progression of the 45 cableships via our online cable map. . STF REBECCA SPENCE is the newest member of the SubTel Forum team. She joined our ranks as a Research Analyst at the end of 2019. A graduate of Christopher Newport University, this is Rebecca’s premier article for the STF magazine.


Figure 4: Cableship Distribution




5 QUESTIONS WITH ALEX VAXMONSKY: Talking Industry Trends with Equinix’s Director of Ecosystem Development



We’ve shared an incredible digital journey with our customers over the last 20 years. From helping the public internet scale in our early days to enabling leading businesses around the globe to interconnect, interact and grow on our global platform, it has been an honor to help enterprises and service providers alike succeed in an increasingly digital world. As the world’s digital infrastructure company, our mission is to power digital leaders by enabling them to harness our trusted platform to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure they need to succeed. The reality is that today business leaders must be digital leaders. And as submarine cable systems connect the world’s continents and carry approximately 99% of all international communications traffic, providing interconnection to those vital systems on our global platform is a critical component of our customers’ digital growth.



It has always been in our DNA to be an ecosystem aggregator. We have a long history of bringing system


providers together to peer with each other, innovate and capture new enterprise opportunities. Today, nearly 40 Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers are subsea enabled in 55+ metros around the world and those numbers are growing. We provide the infrastructure and cable systems expertise to help offload CLS overhead costs and the management of cable system landing points across Platform Equinix. On our global platform, more than 30+ subsea providers, including hyperscalers, deliver high-speed, low-latency bandwidth capacity to our 9,500+ customers, which includes dense enterprise, content and media, financial services, network and cloud ecosystems. This allows our customers to collaborate with their employees, partners and customers instantly, across oceans and between continents, meeting their expectations for high-performance connectivity anytime, anywhere. Subsea cables bring companies to the digital edge, and the ability to land the cables directly inside our global data centers enables these systems to deliver the close, direct, many-to-many global connectivity that drives digital business around the world. Due to our expansive global footprint of more than 220+ IBX data centers in 26 countries on 5 continents, the subsea

deployments we support in our global IBX data centers are primarily transcontinental in scope. Most recently this includes EllaLink’s unprecedented cable project connecting Latin America and Europe for the first time; Google’s Curie, which unites Chile and California; and Telxius, Facebook, and Microsoft’s MAREA high-capacity subsea cable system that stretches from Virginia Beach, VA to Bilbao, Spain. This means we can service the transcontinental interconnection requirements of all types of businesses, especially multinationals.



We are continuously partnering on new projects and acquiring data centers that give our customers improved access to the expanding global subsea cable network. We’re working on more than 60 new global CLS projects over the next two years. This includes Crosslake Fibre, that traverses for the first time Lake Ontario between our Toronto, Canada and Secaucus, New Jersey data centers and the RTI cable system that land in our Sydney and Tokyo data centers.



Our most exciting contribution is the implementation of a disruptive PoP design and “open cable model”. We’ve modernized the industry by upending the decades-long practice of terminating subsea cables inside CLSs that are on the beach, far from high-population metros and business users. Innovations in optical transmission have cleared the way for a new interconnection model in which the cables land directly inside our data centers, close to the service providers and enterprises that need to consume their capacity. Terminating a cable inside a data center is more cost-effective for a cable operator and removes traditional delays by eliminating the backhaul between the CLS and a data center or other interconnection hub. The end result is cheaper, lower-latency connectivity that gives cable operators the ability to offer customers fast, direct and secure access to rich cloud, network, content and other industry ecosystems inside our data centers. And by bringing connectivity to digital and business ecosystems directly to the cable landing station, users see a 35% increase in their application and

data transfer performance. That’s a critical differentiator. We’re also increasing subsea cable providers opportunities in new markets by building our data centers where we know CLSs are being planned, such as those in France. We can more economically support cable providers’ infrastructure requirements, such as for power and cooling. We can also extend their optical domain between IBX data centers that are hundreds of miles away to service more customers across an entire region. And our global PoPs enable us to manage cable systems between continents, such as with the BRUSA cable system between Virginia and Brazil.



We will continue to develop Platform Equinix to enable an agile, modular offering for interconnecting subsea cable systems to our more than 2,900 cloud and IT service providers, 1,800+ networks, business and digital ecosystems, and enterprises of all sizes. We’ll also seek out new geographic markets for subsea cable access and new technologies that make consuming subsea cable capacity easier and more cost-effective. We envision a future where Equinix serves as the ultimate edge presence for landing station providers ̶ covering ground, sea and low-earth orbit satellite communications. Our goal is to aggregate all of these different transmission mediums globally on Platform Equinix and offer Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric® (ECX Fabric®) as the global on-ramp for digital leaders to seamlessly exchange applications and data traffic around the world. As the Director of Ecosystem Development at Equinix, Alex Vaxmonsky is uniquely positioned to provide insight into datacenters and the ecosystems of service providers, web content and applications. He has significant experience in leading complex strategic partnerships and managing large infrastructure installations. With a deep background in both wireless and wireline environments, Alex’s team is focused on strategies that support all varieties of network connectivity to accelerate the monetization of services.






100 years ago a person could intimately know no more than 50 books in a lifetime, today we can access information from over 600,000 books. When I went to school, I had books and access to a library. My children went to school with laptops and access to the Internet. That is a revolution from new digital products to digital services providing an economic change and impact. New industries and skill sets have arisen with new global giant companies with new levels of power, leverage and insights; driving digital change in an increasingly digital



world. All but unthinkable to those who where schooled in the 60’s, 70’s or even in the 80’s would have thought ‘Data is the new oil’ would be used in common industry parlance. Digitalization is transforming the value chain with increased efficiency, productivity, quality and competitiveness. The digital infrastructure underpinning digitalization, including the Internet’s backbone — data centers, the cloud and network infrastructure — is closing a global social-economical gap, in business and for those on the right side of the digital divide.

Time and again I hear Government agencies asking Data Center Foreign Direct Investors “How many onsite Jobs will this investment create?”. In the age of the Digital Economy, a more pertinent question is “What will the wider economic impact be?” let’s explore’


Measuring the Digital Economy is difficult yet the IMF ‘Measuring the Digital Economy 2018’ report stated that the Digital Economy in most nations is less than 10 percent of total economic activity if measured by value-added, income or employment. And according to the UNCTAG 2019 report, the Digital Economy ranges from 4.5% GDP in developed countries (circa 12%+ for Nordic nations and the UK) to 15.5% of global GDP in developing countries. For most of the G-20, that makes the Digital Economy larger than Mining, Utilities, Agriculture, Education and Transportation. 34% of investors questioned in the ‘2018 EY Attractiveness Survey Europe’ regard the Digital Economy as the leading investment class. As for 2020, IT Data Center spending is expected to reach $191bn, while $100bn will be pumped into Cloud IT Infrastructure between now and 2023. It’s worth comparing the digital age to previous revolutions. On average, the Internet, over its initial 15 years, contributed to a $500 increase per capita in developed countries. The industrial revolution took about 50 years to achieve a similar impact.


While Wikipedia offers a perfectly fine definition of a data center, a more all-inclusive understanding of what data centers are and what they enable helps us to form a better sense of their global economic impact. In short, a data center(s) is or are: • Data Driven Critical Infrastructure • A Data Factory that processes digital workloads • Moving photons & electrons processing Applications & Services • Engines of a digital outsourcing revolution • Heart, lungs and nerve cells of ‘digital driven delivery’ • Physical enabler to new business and social models • An ‘A$$et Cla$$’ (the smart money knows it even if it is not recognised by institutions!) As for how many: Emerson in 2011 stated there where 509,147 data centers worldwide, IDC estimated this peaked in 2017 which dipped to circa 8,400,000 globally. Likely due to more enterprises migrating to more efficient facil-

ities with lower OPEX and into the cloud which include 562 hyperscale data centers.


Data center critical infrastructure as the heart, lungs and nerve cells of ‘digital driven delivery’ contributes to stock market values of the web giants, large cloud providers and enterprises. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and the like are known in the finance world as FAANG stocks, comprising Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Alphabet (GOOG) formally Google. In January 2020, these combined companies had a market capitalization of over USD $4.1 trillion ( January 2020). FAANG stocks trade on the NASDAQ and are part of the S&P 500, representing approximately 15 percent of the index. National examples of data center economic impact also serve up some impressive figures. Germany’s $36bn ‘National Broadband Strategy’ investment, launched in 2010, contributed €170.9bn to GDP (0.60 % GDP growth). According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics, multi-tenant data centers (excluding telecoms) in the Netherlands directly contributed €462m to its economy. The total GDP impact of these facilities is estimated at €1bn, equal to 7.7% of Netherlands’ GDP. And Oxford Research estimates the economic impact of the Finnish data center cluster to be €7-11 bn (in a country with a population of only 5.5 million). The impact of data centers in the two towns of Luleå, Northern Sweden and Quincy, Washington State USA is also striking. Facebook’s Luleå site, the company’s first data center outside of the USA, contributed 9bn SEK ($992m) of full economic impact. It created 4,500 full-time jobs over 10 years (direct, indirect, and induced impacts), including 1,450 direct impact jobs (yet it is not clear how many remain employed inside the facility). According to BCG, in 2012 Facebook contributed 1.5% to the region’s economy. Quincy has enjoyed significant data center initial investment from Microsoft, Yahoo! and, which together hired 180 facility workers by 2008. Then Sabey, Intuit, Dell, and Vantage landed. The impact of the town’s $1.3bn data center investment between 2005-07 saw the population grow 13 percent, while salaries rose by 8 percent, and house prices by around 30 percent. This created 220 new construction jobs (and 500 workers for the Microsoft site).




Despite these localised examples, data center job creation is not a fertile ground of research in a sector still steeped in confidentiality. But the data we do have paints a compelling picture.


The USA’s open home market data (which represents 43% of global data center businesses) provides some interesting averages for a typical data center: 1,688 local workers employed during construction, $244m output generated and $9.9m in revenue for the state and local governments. 157 local jobs were created on average per data center. And between 2010-2016 data processing, internet publishing and other information services were responsible for an annual of $87bn in GDP per year.


In 2016, Google provided $1.3bn of economic activity, $750m job income and 11,000 jobs in total across the USA, of which 1,900 were direct data center workers. There were 1,140 construction workers across six data center campuses with additional supply chain jobs at 3,500 and 70 direct jobs working on future renewable projects. The job multiplier (1 direct job supports x additional non-Google Jobs) is 5.9 with a GDP multiplier of 6.6 (adding value to the wider economy). According to Oxford Economics, Google invested more than $10.5bn equipping their data centers, yet manufacturing jobs of equipment is not included in these numbers. Google’s own USA figures from 2018 across nine facilities provide some data center indicators: Total investment $11.95 billion; contribution to local GDP $717 million; total related jobs around 7,565.


As of March 2018, Facebook had spent $4.2bn on four data centers with a total workforce of over 800. After five years of operation the average direct job per data center is 196. For each data center worker an extra five jobs were needed elsewhere (5x job multiplier). RTI International claim Facebook created 60,100 jobs (including total multiplier effect) between 2010-2016 from its $5.8bn GDP impact. For every $1m spent on data center operations 13.1 jobs were supported elsewhere in the economy and 14.5 for capital expenditure.


As of 2015, in the Netherlands, multi-tenant data centers alone (excluding telecoms) provided 2,300 direct full-time jobs and 1300 indirect full-time jobs. As of 2015,



200,000 employees worked for the German data center industry of which 120,000 were operational staff. To put that into a context that represents 0.5 percent of the total number employed in the economy.


McKinsey’s Global SME Survey (2012) found that for every job lost to ICT 2.6 new jobs were created, in line with a separate French study which showed 500,000 jobs lost over a 15 year period created 1.2 million others. It has been estimated that 4 to 5 jobs are created in the economy for each new ICT job (European Commission, 2016; Moretti, 2012). The ‘Employment and Social Development in Europe’ 2016 report looked at employment in ICT and occupations between 2003 and 2013 and found it grew between 16% and 30% in 25 European countries. Over the last decade, an extra two million ICT specialist jobs have been created, a million of which were created in the last three years. Looking just at the role of the Internet, China attributed 2.5% growth in GBP to a 10% increase in broadband deployment. While Thailand attributed 1% and Latin America/Caribbean 1.7% growth for the same percentage broadband penetration. As a University of Munich study concluded: “a clear path can be found from introducing broadband and its increased penetration to per capita GDP.”


The direct and indirect economic benefits of data center construction and operations are profound, but we can’t get away from the fact that the industry is power-intensive. The power demands of the sector are being increasingly scrutinised, but careful analysis of the trends reveals an industry that is leading the charge to a more energy-efficient world. According to International Energy Agency, data centers consumed 1% of global electricity demand in 2020. Data transmission networks were also responsible for 1% of energy consumed globally. But even though digital workloads have increased 550% since 2010, power demand has levelled, as facilities leverage more efficient infrastructure and source power from increasingly greener energy sources. Global e-sustainability (GeSI) state that ICT can reduce GHG emissions by 20% versus a no change approach by 2030 (equivalent to holding emissions to 2015 levels) providing $11tn in new economic and social benefits and an estimated 30% increase in agriculture yields for less water. ICT/digital technologies have the potential to reduce carbon

emissions by x10 the amount the ICT sector will grow by 2030. GeSI see Artificial Intelligence (AI) reducing GHG by 4% in 2030, which is the combined emissions of Australia, Canada and Japan. Google has mention that it uses AI to reduce data center energy by 15% (6% reduction in cooling). Organisations are increasingly moving workloads from less efficient on-premises data centers to more efficient colocation and cloud data centers in more sustainable locations and operations.


Digital Infrastructure should be seen as a critical utility. In the same way as roads, transport systems, energy provision and water are normally viewed and measured. They increase general economic activity for the wider good of citizens, nationally and internationally. And they enable governments to increase competitiveness, the ease of doing business, add significant GDP impact and make countries more attractive to Foreign Direct Investors (FDI). Since the first industrial revolution we have seen an emerging pattern: that of labour and cost reductions

driving commoditisation, in turn demanding new skill sets, creating job diversity and new employment types that counter older technologies. This digital revolution is still in its infancy and ongoing, and our current crop of graduates with their ‘What IF’ algorithms can see the world in more digital terms – a wider macro perspective where digital impacts are not just about jobs, but include human enrichment. Yet never forget that data centers are critical infrastructure, the almost invisible heart, lungs and nerve cells of a ‘digitally driven revolution’. STF DEREK WEBSTER is a Data Center sector consultant, advisory, client principle & advocate and Speaker. He has over 25+years sector experience, leading teams and delivering global digital infrastructure, strategy and solutions. He spans the gambit working with clients from funding rounds, pre-budget business case, DC strategy, market positioning, to country & site selection, design & build to delivery. He has worked with Hyperscalers, Global brands, Telecoms and enterprises. He has helped governments & development agencies to align and review their Foreign Direct Investors (FDI), attractiveness, ‘Value Propositions’ to their National offer’s.

Everything in Telecom Happens Somewhere

Learn how ArcGIS can help you. Download now:



Copyright © 2020 Esri. All rights reserved.

Whether you design or build next generation networks, operate those networks, create new products/services, or need to make data-driven decisions, location matters.





ocation has always been a key factor in the subsea cable industry. Deciding where to place a cable, determining ideal landing stations, ensuring the cable is placed in the right place, monitoring the construction, inspecting the assets after they are placed, and keeping employees safe throughout the whole process – all the key workflows have one thing in common: location. The industry has always used maps and geography to make decisions and communicate with internal and external stakeholders. What’s changing is the way in which maps and data are shared. It was always common to find teams huddled around paper maps or exchanging spreadsheets with important metrics. Now it seems technology is catching up to the way subsea cable operators always wanted to work. The industry is undergoing digital transformation and forward-thinking operators are leveraging that one thing all their work processes have in common (location) as a natural systems integrator. Why the need for digital transformation? Why are subsea cable operators seeking to fundamentally change the way they run their companies? Because the industry itself is evolving and demands of customers are forcing operators to modernize in order to keep that competitive advantage. Businesses and consumers alike have a seemingly endless demand for broadband access, network speeds, and network capacity.



5G isn’t eliminating the need for fiber; it’s forcing the entire industry to deploy more fiber with increased network diversity and capacity. The workforce itself is evolving and changing as are regulatory requirements. As new opportunities arise, the competitive landscape and investor expectations change along with them. Even customer expectations have shifted dramatically – I can order a coffee from my phone and see what time it will be ready for me to pickup. Those same expectations are now being carried over into professional situations: Why, then, can’t I see in near-real time the construction progress of the new cable we’re building? Telecommunications providers, including subsea cable operators, are deploying next generation networks and network technologies in response to these changing industry pressures and opportunities. They are seeking out and implementing cutting-edge technologies to run their businesses; technologies that take advantage of modern architectures, leverage the cloud if desired, don’t require specialized hardware, and come with secure API’s for easier integration into enterprise IT stacks. And, since the telecommunications industry is so heavily based on location, it’s no wonder that mapping and GIS (geographic information systems) technologies are digitally transforming businesses. Successfully managing a subsea cable system first re-

quires that you document not only where your physical assets are, but also characteristics about those assets. You may wish to record how many fibers are in a cable, what year was it was placed, who was the manufacturer, how is it spliced, when was the last time it was inspected, what is the current available capacity, and likely many other features of those assets. Operators might also wish to include proposed or in progress cables as well, to capture a forward-leaning view into the business. Many refer to this entire setup as a system of record. This authoritative set of digital maps is typically kept current by a set of mapping professionals responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the cables that make up the lifeblood of the business. Once you’ve invested the energy into digitally documenting those subsea cables, an operator may want to interrogate or perform analysis on the mapped data. Questions may be simple, such as “Which cables are at 75%+ capacity?” Or they might involve predictive analytics, like “Compare historical maintenance records, manufacturer, and ocean temperature and show me which cables are likely to fail in the next six months.” Perhaps they are operational in nature, such as “Based on the likely path of a hurricane, which of my landing stations are most vulnerable?” Or maybe an operator wants to build a repeatable model to test an escalating series of circumstances: “What if

sea level rises 6 inches? What about one foot? What about 18 inches?” The set of applications and models used to perNOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE form analysis is often called a system of insight. None of the highly accurate information you’ve collected about your assets or the sophisticated analysis you’ve performed with that information does the company much good if only the five people who worked on the maps are able to use them. That’s where a system of engagement comes in. The mapping professionals and data scientists must securely share the results of their work to a wide variety of stakeholders. Those stakeholders could come from inside and outside the organization. Based on their role in the company and the type of work they perform, the system knows what to show to them. To facilitate true two-way communication, this system must not merely passively share information, it must also be equipped to receive updates or feedback from employees or contractors in the field, on ships, and in offices. This is achieved with a series of apps that leverage the same underlying data coming from the system of record. These apps might work on a mobile device, such as a location-enabled smart form or mapping app. They could be simple web applications that showcase operational status on a map-based dashboard. Or they could even be mapping add-ins to applications employees are already accustomed to use in the office every day, like Excel or PowerBI. Lastly, these three systems must have the ability to consume real-time data feeds so current conditions are always incorporated. These real-time feeds could come from sensor networks within the company or they might be weather, navigational, or threat conditions coming from outside the organization. Again, by using location as a system integrator of sorts, aspects of a subsea cable operator’s business that were previously separated can now be viewed and analyzed within one common operating picture. The three systems described here: system of record, system of insight, and system of engagement are not earth-shattering transformations in and of themselves. Neither is the ability to see real-time monitoring feeds. Operators have used various technologies in the past to document cables, perform analytics, or share a map around a project team. What is groundbreaking is the ability to serve all those audiences and work processes using one seamless underpinning technology. Many communications service providers are becoming more vertically integrated, that is to say they own or rely on infrastructure ranging from subsea cables, through data centers, regional transport networks, and sometimes even down the last



mile networks. Historically they couldn’t visualize or connect together various pieces of their holistic networks; they had to rely on separate systems with cumbersome integrations if they needed to connect different aspects of the network together. A complete GIS changes that paradigm. Modeling completely different network tiers in one system, an operator could trace from a fiber distribution hub all the way to the subsea fiber strand that connects data centers in two continents. The industry pressures listed earlier are leading forward-leaning subsea cable operators to deploy a complete GIS platform. A complete GIS platform consists of all three systems working harmoniously off the same central set of authoritative map and location content. Authoritative maps are maintained by professionals but shared throughout the business. Contractors or field employees are empowered to view those maps and perhaps make changes or updates, based on the permissions given to them. Executives see real-time operational metrics about their business on a map that’s easy to understand. Data scientists and analysts bring spatial science and location analytics to their projects to further tease out patterns and trends that otherwise might not surface without the spatial aspect. Customers can securely monitor their networks or projects without the need to pass files back and forth that are out of date the moment they are created. A competitive edge has never been more important to subsea cable operators than today. Many are completely re-imagining their work processes by implementing a complete GIS such that every stakeholder in the business or on a project has the right information to make the right decision at the right time. STF Stacia Canaday is the manager of the US telecom & cable team at Esri. She has her BS in Geography from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at Esri for 18 years. Stacia enjoys working with telecommunications companies of all sizes and specialties, helping them incorporate location technology.



2021 Submarine Ca sales are n



ables of the World now open

e Today!




n today’s digital world, data centres are becoming an essential part of modern life. With more than seven billion Internet-connected devices around the world – every day – data is being used for research, social media, internet banking, online trading, online shopping etc. reaffirming the crucial role data centres play in both our working and private lives from now, into the future. The importance of – and our reliance on – data centres, was put into sharp focus earlier this year with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which introduced terms such as ‘working from home’ and ‘social distancing’ to the modern lexicon. As public workplaces, trains, offices, restaurants and large cities became quiet, the flow of data not only hummed, but went into overdrive. While remote working was progressively on the rise preCOVID, the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed catapulted the trend into the world’s greatest work-fromhome (WFH) experiment – all of which would not be possible without proper data and internet infrastructures, i.e. data centres. Data centres have certainly been put to the test during



COVID-19, cementing their place as an essential service by successfully facilitating working, learning, exercising, grocery shopping, socialising, attending doctor’s appointments, attending church, and being entertained – all virtually, from the comfort of our own home. COVID has meant that we, as a society, have tested and realised the effectiveness and benefits of doing most things virtually. At the risk of sounding theatrical, this highlights something that every generation learns: the world never stays the same and it is always changing. Earlier this year, Facebook indicated plans to shift towards a more remote workforce as a long-term trend. Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told staff it was “aggressively opening up remote hiring”. Zuckerberg expects half of its workforce to do their jobs outside Facebook’s offices over the next five to 10 years. As offices gradually re-open after COVID-19 lockdowns, more employers are looking at new ways of working. This follows moves by other Silicon Valley tech firms, including Twitter, which said employees can work from home “forever” if they wish. But where does this data centre traffic originate? Some traffic flows between the data centre and the end

users, some traffic flows between data centres, and some traffic stays within the data centre itself. In its Global Cloud Index report, Cisco predicts that cloud data centre traffic will far exceed 20 zettabytes (10²²) in 2020, which is an increase of 303% from 2016. It is no secret that organisations of all sizes are moving to the cloud for strategic, financial, and operational flexibility and scalability. By 2021, it is anticipated that 95% of global data centre traffic will come from cloud services and applications. • 1 zettabyte (ZB) is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes.

which countries and companies are building data centres. These announcements include Microsoft, who just completed a new cloud region in Germany and recently announced plans for Spain, Poland and Italy. Google announced plans to step up the deployment of new cloud regions, emphasizing the Asia Pacific region. Other areas for development include Indonesia, South Korea, Poland, Northern India, Doha, With the Internet of Things Melbourne and Toronto. The growth projection of data information handled (IoT), the growth in social media The developing world’s popthrough data centres platform popularity as well as an ulation growth is likely to drive increased need to store data off site, the development of significant demand for data centres over the next five years, more data centres across the world is almost guaranteed. and the developing world has significant challenges to enable data centre construction. While data centre technology is easily deployed to DATA CENTRE GROWTH ‘first world’ countries, there is an enormous discrepancy To meet the world’s growing data needs, more data cenbetween the digital technologies within the first world tres are being constructed – notably an increasing number of hyperscale centres. As the above graph by Statista (www. compared to developing countries. It is more challenging to develop data centres in developing countries shows, the number of hyperscale data centre Developing countries face numerous difficulties in imdevelopment rises on average, by 16% every year. proving data centre infrastructure, such as: Data centres offer possibilities such as scalability, security, 1. Logistical considerations and access to reliable power efficiency, and state-of-the-art technology that is increasingly and water supplies demanded by companies and organisations, but are too expen2. Lack of funding sive to realise themselves. Future data centres will predictably 3. Very little to no previous infrastructure developments, require adequate processing power locally, in the cloud, and at lack of skilled workforce to build or maintain the facility the end user’s location to effectively manage new challenges 4. Lack of in-country investment around bandwidth, security, and tools like artificial intelli5. Cultural resistance to change. gence, advanced analytics, 5G, edge computing, and more.


Data centre development is entering new frontiers the world over. This year, countless announcements alone - even amidst a global pandemic - has proven the urgency with

Much like the famous chicken and egg predicament, it often takes existing technologies to create and employ new technologies. Since water, electric, and utility services can be quickly routed to any remote location in a developed nation NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE such as America, any piece of vacant land can virtually become the next data centre. Yet in developing nations such as Africa and Asia, it isn’t always that easy. Detractors point to the high business costs of developing local servers and data centres, not just for the tech giants but also for the very digital start-ups that governments indicate they want to encourage. Detractors say localisation regulations interfere with global innovation, are challenging to enforce, and ignore data centres’ technical requirements: proximity to the Internet’s “backbone” of fiber optic cables, a stable supply of electricity, low-temperature air or water for cooling the giant servers. Prefabrication also helps expedite the project delivery timeline as more pieces of the project, from power racks to walls, will be built off-site to accommodate the simultaneous assembly of crucial elements of the final building. Modularisation and prefabrication also decrease the time spent navigating labour laws and the need for local labour. Another challenge for developing country data centres is the lack of trained and experienced technicians needed to operate the facility. Without the right set of specific skills, a data centre is impossible to operate. As we look around the globe, we see governments making a big push for data centre development.

The high adoption of cloud computing, along with the growth in social networking and demand for online video services, has prompted the need for more computing power and data storage capacity in Latin America. Brazil dominates the big data market, followed by Mexico and Colombia. Entering a new country takes commitment, and an understanding of each country’s means and methods of development. Site selection, site acquisition, permitting, and zoning is more challenging in new frontiers. Finding the right in-country partner and developing a strategic approach in partnership with in-country experts who are well-equipped to navigate national and local rules and regulations, is critical.



A report released late last year by the Arab Advisors Group, found that Middle East data centres are being built more frequently than in previous years, with a preference toward colocation facilities (a physical facility that offers space with the proper power, cooling and security to host businesses’ computing hardware and servers). Increased government support for the digital economy in the region, the growth in cloud adoption, and migration from on-premise infrastructure to colocation and managed services, are expected to drive the data centre investment in countries comprising the area.


Africa’s Data Centres Association (ADCA) recently released its first research paper in which it notes high expectations for data centre development. Data centres are being



positioned as a “catalyst for economic transformation” across Africa, with at least 20 new facilities coming online between 2020 and 2021.


Reliable IT infrastructure, server market and uninterruptible power supplies make Asian countries an attractive market for regional and international companies to relocate their data centres. South-East Asia is enjoying unprecedented attention as the new global data centre hotbed. The current population of South-East Asia is 670,820,989 as of November 1, 2020, based on the latest United Nations estimates. The South-East Asia population is also equivalent to 8.58% of the total world population, which indicates the current and potential future users of data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Small/Medium Enterprises (SME’s) play a vital role in South-East Asia by contributing to employment and inclusive growth. The cost of data is relatively cheap and accessible to most, and SME’s are using this to their advantage.

The digital transformation in this part of the world opens up a range of opportunities for SME’s. It can encourage product and service innovation, improve their market intelligence, ease their access to talent, facilitate access to financing, and ultimately enhance their competitiveness in local and global markets. Multinational organisations such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft made the region a favourite destination to relocate their data centres to. Rarely a month went by in 2018 without a significant announcement of this kind. This trend was again gaining momentum in 2019. January began with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of China’s Alibaba Group, announcing the launch of a second data centre in Indonesia – only ten months after its first one in the country. Data centres are a core component of business operations, comprising centralised warehouses (physical or virtual) used for the remote storage and processing of data and information. With the increased usage of cloud-based services, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data analytics, data centres’ construction has rocketed in recent years across the globe.


It would be thoughtless to oversimplify all the tangible and intangible elements that need to be fully understood and evaluated when creating a global data centre initiative. Yet, here are our top considerations to evaluate when building your global data centre strategy. Before any meaningful data centre design can commence, it will be useful to consider the following points.


Once a general geographic area has been selected, it takes a very experienced team to fully evaluate a foreign location’s suitability to build a new data centre. Identifying risk factors, both the obvious ones, such as the closeness of existing water, gas, electricity utilities, known seismic or flood zones, or the less obvious ones, such as adjacencies to “invisible” but potential hazards, such as airports and their related flight paths, must be an essential part of the final decision.


Beyond the primary factors related to physical and logistical resources, the country and region’s political stability should be considered. Insurance costs and even the ability to get coverage may be impacted by building a data centre in potentially lucrative and growing markets. These might carry a higher risk profile than a nearby country with viable communications bandwidth into the target market.

However, in some volatile or politically restrictive countries internet traffic is filtered, blocked, or monitored, which may discourage the adoption of the facility by users.


Given the recent and more frequent catastrophic weather-related events affecting even highly developed areas, we all need to review and perhaps re-evaluate our basic assumptions. Planning based on 100 Year Flood Zones may no longer be considered ultra-conservative.


Regarding availability and continuous operation, how much fuel should be stored locally (i.e., 24 hours or more)? During a small, localized utility failure and back-up generators are an essential consideration.


Of course, picking a site location that is physically secure and has reliable access to power, water, and communications is an essential first step. Since energy is the highest operating cost of a data centre, focus your attention on the cost of power and its long-term impact. Energy costs are highly location-dependent and are based on local or purchased power generation costs (related to fuel types or sustainable sources such as hydro, wind or solar), as well as any state and local taxes (or tax incentives). Site selection can also directly impact the facility’s energy efficiency. One of the most considerable energy uses is cooling and is location-dependent since it is related to the ambient temperature and humidity conditions. Various cost studies show that operating data centres in a cooler climate costs far less than data centres located in warmer climates. Considering the total power (kW) usage of data centres, cooling and ventilation can easily consume up to 40% of the total energy used to operate the facility. Therefore, in warmer climates, the chillers are expected to run for longer hours to maintain cooler temperatures within the facility. A data centre operation in Singapore could cost almost three times more to maintain the cooling of the facility than say, a data centre located around New York city, where additional cooling is required during the Summer months, but not so much during Winter.


Many conventional cooling systems use evaporative cooled chiller systems that require a significant quantity of relatively pure water (typically potable water from a municipal supply). Depending on the region, this may represent a significant problem, either because there is not enough to support a large data centre or it contains too many impuNOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE rities that can rapidly clog cooling towers. This needs to be investigated and evaluated before the type of cooling system is selected. Many areas of the world have moderate climates using less water while also allowing significant savings for the energy used by cooling systems, which are the most considerable use of power besides the IT equipment itself.


The design of data centres drives the cost and duration needed to develop the facilities. It is considered a critical aspect to ensure that accurate construction budgets are developed alongside the project plan. Other important cost drivers are networking and cooling technology and the building fabric, i.e. what building materials are used.


The skill level and technical knowledge of the local labour pool should be part of the evaluation. In planning your human resource requirements, be apprised that local laws and general practices regarding employees will have different rules regarding working conditions and working hours and the number of holidays, vacations and sick days, etc.


Designing and building a data centre could be a vast undertaking. Although there are several options available on how to execute the project and what level of partnership arrangement is required when dealing with experienced contractors and consultants, the most common project execution model includes appointing experienced data centre design and build contractors as well as specialist consultants to deliver these data centres. The design-bid-build process has also worked for many organisations, and it’s easy to understand. When searching for the A-Team it goes without saying that contractors and consultants’ robust experience in overcoming practical issues during the design and construction stages can help to deliver hyperscale data centres on time, and within budget. The following aspects are important when selecting Contractors and Consultants: • Reliability • Experience • Flexibility • Price



The need for appointing a very experienced team to deliver data centres is vital to the successful outcome of project delivery.


While domestic companies have a broad choice of data centre locations and significant equipment providers, you should look carefully when expanding your operations into other parts of the world. You may need to consider equipment vendors other than those you usually have in your own home country. If you plan on building your own data centre facility in a foreign country, be aware that not all manufacturers of equipment and systems you have used domestically have a presence in the area you have selected to locate your new facility to, to provide support in the event of a breakdown..


Besides regular maintenance of all the power and cooling equipment, there can be unanticipated expenses – from unexpected equipment failures or external events – which can be significant. While this is true even in your home country, it can become a major issue on foreign soil, where there may be a much lower level of spare parts and technical resources. It may require a significantly higher investment in onsite spare parts than in your domestic market.


We are heading for a tipping point. The demand for data is reaching unprecedented heights and data centres are essential to facilitate this. Everything, as it were, is moving faster. Cloud computing makes everything accessible remotely, and we have data centres to thank for that. The development of hyperscale data centres all over the world will present unique challenges in terms of location, infrastructure and demographics. It is therefore, without a doubt, important to appoint the right team of professionals to assist in the delivery of data centres. Cloud computing – it will pave the way for future technological developments. STF BEN BASSON is a Principal at TBH, Sydney. He is a keen follower of all things tech and avidly supports global developments which improve the quality of our lives. Having worked in over 20 countries, Ben has provided commercial advice on major projects and programmes at all stages of the project cycle. In project set up stage, Ben advises clients on procurement strategy and the most suitable commercial models for projects. He also has a wealth of Commercial, Procurement, Programme Management and Dispute Resolution expertise honed from directing the delivery of multi-billion-dollar Capital Investment Programmes within the Construction and Infrastructure sectors.


FROM CABLE STATION TO DATA CENTER A New Approach to Connectivity


Over the last couple of months the telecommunications industry has lead a charge and has won the fight in keeping the world connected. I know this is their purpose however the communications networks never expected a situation where an immediate change in working practice exploded onto the world stage caused by the Covid pandemic. This dynamic change in the way people communicated and the pressures caused by the evacuation of the office, created huge problems for the economy. The many industries, which relied on their army of employees who were office based, had in a short space of time instructed then to migrate to the many home offices. These home offices were instantly set up in kitchens, spare bedrooms, attics and sheds. This new way of working and keeping the economy alive put the telecom network infrastructure under enormous strain. The capability to keep the currant network operational and also increasing the external connectivity to the many different types of industries had to become the normal operational model, practically overnight. This was no ordinary task and many telecom operators and virtual telecom operators had to increase their working bandwidth across the carrier networks. However it was the carrier telecom networks that suffered the most. Before the pandemic took hold the carrier networks, those that had physical infrastructure in the ground, had to keep the bandwidth that was being used across their network operational yet they had to meet the increased bandwidth requirements. This new increase in bandwidth use was directly related to the increased requirement of the masses of office based staff now working from their own home based offices or home office.


A lot of the network carriers had operated their own webfarm type data Centre’s within their own telecom switches or hub sites. These webfarms were predominately ISP (internet service provider) Core networks that connected their customers and other carriers with the ISP providers. These ISP core networks would carry network connections to the big internet providers but also to the sites that maintained the many thousand corporate and company websites and cloud servers etc. The big problem here was that the corporate websites and cloud servers already had connections to the main production sites and office and corporate headquarters that had now been vacated but still needed to be fully operational on a telecommunications point of view. The migration of the millions of office based staff to the home office opened up a new connectivity headache. The many broadband connections used in these new home offices were originally rolled out and used for domestic use. They did have peak times of use but these were usually when the corporate internet and broadband connections were not fully operational and these were usually in evenings when most employees were at home. Most carrier networks had built their webfarm type ISP core networks based on this model as it was a model that had worked and proven reliable over the last fifteen years or so. Another advantage of the carrier webfarm was the ability to use cashed memory in localized servers that were located in the carrier webfarm. This enabled the process that brought the internet closer to the network edge. This is where the big ISP companies would allow for their network to extend as far as the carrier webfarm and decrease the time to steam video and download content. Latency or the time it takes for NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE information to transverse the network was reduced and allowed more access and increased connectivity. Many customers were now not logging onto the big hyperscale internet providers directly but onto the cashed memory provided by the carrier ISP Core. This also assisted the down load speeds and reduced the old issue of buffering and buffeting the data. The carrier webfarm provided and operated the ISP Core network, it was designed as a diverse and protected network, for example the core ISP was mirrored on another ISP Core network that had physical protection and diversity from the original and the CPU usage of 50% meant that the ISP Core was fully utilized. Because the CPU usage was spread across the two diverse ISP Cores. This 50% usage meant that one ISP Core was working at full capacity and would mean that if it failed the second ISP core would carry the load. However it was generally agreed that any usage above 40% meant that some increase in capacity was needed so that any failures in the network connectivity or ISP core meant that there was protected coverage. However during the first few weeks of the mass migration from office to home it was noticed that the ISP core networks were now running at a CPU usage between 60% and 70%. Technically the two ISP cores could carry the load and keep internet and broadband connectivity operational, but any failure would mean loss off connectivity and outage to many customers. To overcome this the need to increase bandwidth and introduce more capacity to the network and ISP core meant that new infrastructure was required and urgently. There was a rapid increase in network build projects to make sure that these ISP core networks, or webfarms, operated by the telecom operators would be able to keep the new home office economy connected. It also meant that the always on connectivity with the Data Centre was also always available for cloud services and on-line content.


However there was another facility that also enabled this new economy to keep connected and this was the Data Centre. The Data Centre is a lot more than a data storage facility, it has evolved over time from the original setting as a neutral network carrier facility that operated as a type of telecommunication interconnection facility. This facility was designed to be a common connection point for multiple operators to inter-



connect with each other. These types of facilities were also to be neutral trading places were the ability to select a network carrier and connect with them so that national and international connectivity could be achieved. These were located in large cities with direct connectivity to the numerous telecom and communication companies and also the ISPs, which began to appear in the 1990s as this was also to be known as the age of mass communications and the birth of internet connectivity. The Data Centre was ideal as the facility to aid in these numerous connections and any communications company could establish themselves in these neutral facilities and operate their own network connectivity and establishing a virtual switch or hub site. Many companies and not necessarily telecom operators had established off-site network servers within Data Centres so that their data was now on-line and in a secure facility. These types of services were the beginnings of the cloud computing network where the customer would move his data off-site or operate a diverse off-site server to protect his on-site data network and servers. The connectivity between the Data Centre and the customer was operated by a communication operator either fixed, mobile or virtual. With this new change in Data Centre offering the idea of the cloud server was born. This enabled many companies to grow and outsource their IT (information technology) requirements to communication companies and enabled them to have their data secured in a facility were always on connectivity was available. The cloud server operations were seen as a new model for the telecom companies to take up and operate and soon these were matching the circuits and connectivity required for ISP connections. The ability of a company to operate a large IT infrastructure and data servers off-site was a great selling point and allowed many companies to grow their office spaces and helped to offer an off-site mirrored or parent server network. The ability to have a Data Centre host the companies’ on-line presence, through the cloud computing service, enabled the

Figure 1: An example of a fully operational Data Centre fitted out with cabinets and servers for cloud computing.

company to have an on-line presence that was hosted in a facility that had an always on ethos capable of operating at the 5 x 9s (99.999%) uptime availability. This opened up a new exciting opportunity for many customers, companies and telecom operators who wanted to have off-site internet and content hosting. The large ISP companies or hyperscalers, as some people call them, began to build their own Data Centres and soon these eclipsed the existing Data Centres in scale and size. The hyperscalers operated their Data Cantres as local servers and enabled them to bring the internet and their on-line content closer to the customer, closer to the edge. They operated on a basis of multiple network connectivity so that they could connect to as many telecom operators so that they could increase customer to ISP connecFigure 2: Schneider tivity. The hyperscalers also Electric the triangle launched cloud computing of the next generation modular Data Centre. services like AZURE, AWS and Google Cloud to name a few. These new Data Centre designs and operations, as said, were large in size and their power consumption was enormous so they started to look at a new viable options of green energy, this was to help their public image and also one that would help increase their 5x9s availably to a possible 6 x 9 (99.9999%) availability and uptime by the blended use of green and fossil fueled energy supplies; note: Hydro Electricity production is seen as a green energy production option. As non-telecom customers were not given direct access to these hyperscale Data Centres, they used the connectivity provided by the telecom operators and network providers as ISP interconnects. Many telecom operators also increased their connectivity to these hyperscalers so that their direct interconnect capacity grew. The hyperscalers used the telecom operators as the conduit for their connectivity and soon they had multiple diverse connections provided by the licensed communication network providers (LCNP) and licensed virtual communication network providers (LVCNO). Soon these connections to the hyperscale Data Centres increased in bandwidth and capacity. They differed in size to the already operational connections to the existing neutral Data Centres, they operated at capacities that required the use of 100GbE circuits and sometimes multiples of these. The average connection to the neutral Data Centre was at

10GbE, but this was also changing and soon 100GbE connections are now frequently been used. The Data Centre itself has undergone a lot of change over the past few years and it is the emerging presence of the hyperscale Data Centres that has evoked such a revolutionary change in design. The next generation Data Centres of today are now being designed in modular form, this enables the new designs to use common components such as Data Centre design, cabinets, cages and even power plant. This helps reduce the power usage and makes it more efficient and also enables the reduction in operating costs while increasing the operational activity and productivity of the new next generation Data Centres. These Data Centres are becoming more frequent in use were also operating as multiple Data Centres within the same country creating a large virtual Data Centre footprint covering a wider geographical area. Having the ability to have diverse inter-Data Centre connectivity provided by multiple telecom network operators offering either dark fibre access or managed services at multiple 100GbE channel capacities has helped develop the Data Centre operation into a sleek always on, always connected Data Centre, operating in the cloud computing and cloud data server space. National Data Centre footprints are now the norm operating as a virtual single Data Centre with multiple Data Centre facilities acting as one, connected by more than one telecom network operator offering diverse and protected connectivity. However the international connected Data Centre is also appearing on the stage. This type of Data Centre is one that was originally muted and launched by the existing Data Centres in the early 2000s and taken as a standard operating model by the next generation Data Centres. Having the ability to offer cross continent and sometimes global coverage to customers was seen as the next stage in connectivity and access. Data Centres could be in any country on any continent having a high speed connection with low latency between each Data Centre opened up a lot of possibilities. The need to use low latency high capacity submarine cables was a must, there were already a few low latency submarine cables in operation but their capacity was limited to the available technology of the day. However that was changing and networks would NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE soon see the development of 100Gb carrier circuits appearing on cross channel and trans-oceanic submarine systems. The use of these submarine cables as international connectivity creating single Data Centre footprints, as already said, had already been in operation since the early 2000s but the next generation Data Centres soon started to use these low latency cables so as to increase capacity and offer a faster network to its customers. With the introduction of carrier neutral high fibre count submarine cables that could offer fast routes across oceans and seas the ability to have a continental or global Data Centre footprint offering this service along with low-latency transmission was seen as the next stage in the era of cloud computing. Over the last couple of months the Data Centres have seen an unprecedented amount of traffic across their systems and across their customer networks. With the ever increasing numbers of working from home and establishing home offices, the increased demand for cloud computing services surpassed all projections in growth. The Data Centres has seen an increased amount of activity by the telecom operators upgrading their connectivity and capacity so that the bandwidth available would be enough to meet the demand in capacity. Customers were also upgrading their servers and hardware so that they too could cope with the ever increasing demand on their own network infrastructure. The increase in usage of on-line purchasing, social media and e-commerce also put heavy pressures on the hyperscale Data Centre operations with a large amount of on-line activity taking place. An example of this is that 2020 saw an increase in on-line purchasing that it soon surpassed physical purchasing and more money was being spent on-line compared to actual transactions in shops (RTE/REVOLUT Nov 2020). However with the ability to cater for the increase in demand for services and with the new next generation Data Centres being more than capable in coping with this increase in data transactions the cloud was still stable and secure.



Figure 3: The explosion in DATA AND Traffic across the network


International connectivity is an important part of the new next generation Data Centre scene, being able to connect to Data Centres in other countries or continents. The ability to use fast, low latency cables was a must and with the new model (operating since 2011) of carrier neutral open access submarine cables gave an advantage over the owner operator cables. The reason was that the carrier neutral cables offered dark fibre access which enabled the Data Centre to build its own capacity across the submarine cable or purchase a managed service from the carrier of choice instead of relying on a single carrier that may not have offered best service. As already said the ability to use submarine cable connectivity was a must if a continental or global presence was required, however they had their down side. The cable stations that housed the submarine cable terminal equipment were usually located in rural areas where optical backhaul to an operator’s switch or hub site was required.

Figure 4: A remote location use for the landing of submarine cables.

This had the problematic issue in that this backhaul may have been diverse but it also involved numerous hops between sites to finally get to the main switch site. Even is the cable was a neutral carrier open access cable it still needed to have a point of presence in an area where multiple telecom operators also had a presence so that multiple connectivity could be achieved.. The cable station usually did not have the room for large data banks and could not compete with the operations of a Data Centre. There was also an issue with latency and existing fibre infrastructure that was not compatible with high bandwidth optical channels.

Figure 5: an international cable station located in a rural area a long way from large populations areas.

will offer a faster and more efficient connectivity model that can increase CABLE STATION TO DATA CENTRE the global footprint and also offer a With the ever increasing demand world class service. for services and online content the Cloud based services and remote need to revolutionize the cable station working tools such as Zoom and design was needed to overcome all of Teams would benefit hugely from these issues. Some telecom operators this type of design. The ability to already had their submarine cables host virtual large scale conferences terminate in main switch sites which relies on the joint use of Data Centre also acted as the cable station, howevtechnology, telecom operations and er these switch sites need to be close submarine cable connectivity. The (within 20Kms) of the coast so as the make the submarine connection as effi- Figure 6: a change in thinking is required to bring the Data communication interaction between two home offices on different conticient as possible. The Hyperscale Data Centre and Cable Station together as one entity. nents, incorporating the Data Centre Centre operators were also now getting and the submarine cable station as one entity would make involved in the deployment of submarine cable connectivwhole experience seamless, fast and efficient. The need to ity through third parties who were building these systems adopt new ways of thinking, ways to reduce latency, increase directly for their use. always on connectivity and help bring the network closer to As Data Centres had multiple high bandwidth connections to multiple carries, the ability to connect with the large the consumer, closer to the edge is needed. The Data Centre being a cable station is one possibility. STF ISPs and multiple customers was a corner stone of their operation. To take advantage of this type of connectivity and DEREK CASSIDY is doing a PhD in the field of Optical to help create a large continental network, the proposal to Engineering; Waveguide creation and Wavelength incorporate the submarine cable into a Data Centre should manipulation with UCD, Dublin. He is a Chartered Engineer with the IET and Past-Chair of IET Ireland. He be looked on as something that needs to happen rather than is Chairman of the Irish Communications Research Group. a hope. As communications increase in bandwidth the need He is also currently researching the Communication History to reduce latency is a must. As the next generation Data of Ireland. He is a member of SPIE, OSA, IEEE and Engineers Ireland. He has patents in the area of Mechanical Centre is efficient with power usage and can be expanded as Engineering and author of over 30 papers on Optical Engineering. He has it is a modular design, the possibility of incorporating a cable been working in the telecommunications industry for over 27 years. Derek station within a Data Centre does not have any obstacles holds the following Degrees; BSc (Physics/Optical Engineering), BSc (Engineering Design), BEng (Structural/Mechanical Engineering), MEng to overcome. Technically the Data Centre is a type of cable (Structural, Mechanical, and Forensic Engineering) and MSc (Optical station and its partnership with the submarine cable owners Engineering). NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115




How The Summer Of Covid Changed Project Management For Good


As 2019 faded into 2020, there was a murmuring concern around a new virus, soon to-be classified as COVID-19. The global community was beginning to feel the presence of the new virus, that it was transmitted dreadfully quickly and possibly as an aerosol – that no therapeutics or vaccines yet existed for the novel thing. Some months after it had been identified on the global level, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. A pandemic is a global event impacting every corner of the globe causing great concern for protecting lives and reducing the death toll.


March 12, 2021. It is 3:00PM on the East Coast, WFN Strategies has closed its main office at the advice of the Virginia Commonwealth Coronavirus Response Team. There was a stillness in the



building that is so typical of rushed evacuations, the exit signs humming a subaudible fluorescent vigil. The Novel Human Coronavirus, now COVID-19, had come to Virginia and it was time to begin a self-defensive exile from regular life to stave off the modern plague’s progress. This scenario played out across the entire world as each Country fought to mitigate the risks from the virus and ensure the safety of its citizens. As of this article, November 2020, these mitigation strategies of social distancing and wearing masks are still in place with most companies still working remotely from home in order to reduce social interaction and potential spreading of the virus. In fact, the practice of working remotely has become more embraced today, than ever before. Aside from

the obvious health safety benefits of maintaining a remote, or scattered work force, businesses are adopting the practice for financial and convenience.


When President Trump declared an impending closure of US borders for anyone travelling from Europe, we had three Canada based representatives finishing projects and coming home. After the President made his address, a volley of emails and text messages was immediately launched. Projects Team emailed Management, Management emailed Logistics and Logistics was feverishly reading up on a new fluid set of conditions for travel. Where are our people right now? Are they being routed through the US? Canada just implemented a quarantine rule, do they have adequate housing lined up once home? Overnight, we had to become experts on something people were just coming up with a name for.


So how does self-quarantining and social distancing impact our world? Well, there are couple of main items that have been impactful; one is logistics associated with people working on site and the other is the logistics and technical needs for people working off site. The struggle with both of these items are apparent in our daily lives as we see longer delivery timelines for receiving products purchased and when we lose our internet connection or it slows down to the point that it distracts from the work at hand, not to mention the metal stress and anguish caused by the concerns over COVID-19 and the social isolation. More specifically, in our industry where there is a need to travel, place personnel on site to work projects and mingle socially to maintain and create new relations. This challenge, forced on us by COVID-19, demands a different way of doing business. It requires us to learn how to work things differently, how to embrace the scenario we are in and forces us to develop a new way of doing business.

This challenge, forced on us by COVID-19, demands a different way of doing business. It requires us to learn how to work things differently, how to embrace the scenario we are in and forces us to develop a new way of doing business.




At WFN Strategies we have learned to work remotely more efficiently, we always have, but we learned how to do it better and introduced video conferencing as a requirement to help reduce negative impacts of isolation. But this is only part of our daily operations, we still needed to understand how to get resources on site for Submarine Cable system surveys and installations. How to keep our resources safe, remotely and on site.


There is a need to make virtual work more efficient, requiring easier access to data and documents, higher data transmission speeds, greater network reliability and security.

The term “Virtual” has been widely adopted globally as organizations and businesses deal with the Pandemic. WFNS adopted this approach on some of its projects where logistically and during the worst of the pandemic, we could not get personnel into specific countries because they were closed for entry by non-citizens. So, we created a process and employed new systems to support Virtual Client Representation during survey and installation operations. This required the development or further development of our PM 2.0 Project Management system, creating web based data input tools and dashboards to help capture and share data more efficiently and to support remote or virtual work that would normally be done on site. This development was already under way, but COVID-19 pushed us to expedite this development in order to improve our efficien-



cy. The key here is efficiency, we have always had the ability to work remotely and have at some level or another, but what is different now is that everyone is doing it. There is a need to make virtual work more efficient, requiring easier access to data and documents, higher data transmission speeds, greater network reliability and security. PM 2.0 is WFN Strategies system to help improve efficiency and communication, driven by reliable systems and processes. Our PM 2.0 system supports project management efforts and makes working remotely more efficient. In addition to our system, we needed to implement quarantine and safety protocols for our personnel traveling around the world, as well as our office personnel in order to guard against exposure and the devastating impact that could have on a business.


Virtual Representation became a cost-effective solution for seriously at-risk projects – where time, or availability will seriously delay a project, or when replacing an at-risk resource due to sudden illness or travel restrictions. If you can’t be on site, having a virtual solution in you back pocket gives clients an extra layer of insurance for their projects. However, be it for observations during survey activities, or live commentary during installations, there is no replac-

ing having someone available on site. With that in mind, and in keeping with suppliers’ changing requirements, we developed an effective quarantine plan that places our rep’s security and the project’s schedule in high priority. Currently, marine vessels are considered bubbles – they are self-contained ecosystems and, in most cases, some of the safest environments since the start of the pandemic. To maintain that security, every supplier has quarantine rules for preparation time prior to boarding any vessel. Typical quarantine times range from one to two weeks prior to boarding a vessel. At the outset of a call for a rep, the WFN Project Team identifies appropriate candidates for the in-field work, based on their experience, location and of course, availability. With these new quarantine requirements, we aim to provide reps that are either already in country or are within driving distance of the port of call. Our regular pool of reps and their priority status has been reorganized based on an entirely new criterion. As a result, we operate an entirely agile, international and regional rep pool.

In our specific slice of the world, this niche of a niche industry, client representation has taken on new challenges with a roar of defiance. The submarine cable market is more important today than it has in recent memory, as it’s relied upon to provide the literal lifeblood of a world still reeling from this pandemic. By rising to these challenges, our industry is stronger, more efficient, and most importantly, safer than ever before. Virtual Representation may be a stop-gap measure in some rights, but the lessons learned, and logistics protocols will likely not be lost or forgotten in this generation. STF


KRISTIAN NIELSEN is Quality Manager at WFN Strategies and a Project Management Professional (PMP™) and ISO 9001:2015 specialist and possesses more than 12 years’ experience and knowledge in submarine cable systems, including Arctic and offshore Oil & Gas submarine fiber systems. As Quality Manager, he supports the Projects Manager and reviews subcontracts and monitors the prime contractor, supplier, and is astute with Change Order process and management. He is responsible for contract administration, as well as supports financial monitoring and in-field logistics. He has worked in-field, at-desk and everywhere in between.

There are things that are beginning to come back to normal – in-person shopping, dining rooms at restaurants are starting to fill in again, children are going back to school. Life finds a way. There are things that will never be the same again, businesses have optimized processes and protocols that, as it turns out, are bring more efficient fruit to bear, with less overhead and less risk.

HECTOR HERNANDEZ is Projects Manager at WFN Strategies and a Project Management Professional PMP™) specialist and possesses more than 20 years’ experience and knowledge in submarine cable systems, including Arctic and offshore Oil & Gas submarine fiber systems. He possesses extensive experience in ICT (Information & Communications Technology), including data networking/hosting (Data Centers), information technologies, fiber optic and wireless networks/services. As Projects Manager, he is responsible for on-going project supervision, and Engineering of all other WFN Strategies staff and is the primary point of contact with customers.






tuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, with cinemas and restaurants closed, we have all been spending a lot more of our time online than initially planned at the start of 2020! This has led to a surge in internet bandwidth usage, as reported by several websites and mobile app providers, and this demand is driving telecoms operators and consortiums to fast-track several new cross-continental submarine cable systems. Developing new submarine cable systems from concept to operation is a huge undertaking and Covid-19 restrictions are slowing the progress of several global projects. Conducting site inspections for cable landings and vessel inspections for route surveys have all been impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions; tasks such as obtaining operational permits, organising meetings with relevant authorities and mobilising resources for cable route surveys and cable lays also take longer and are more complicated than before the pandemic. These delays are a challenge for the telecoms and internet operators who want these systems expedited and must contend with lower business profitability while waiting for projects to complete. To overcome these obstacles, Fugro has deployed several innovative approaches, all of which are based on remote



technology such as remote site visits, remote vessel inspections and uncrewed vessels etc. As an early adopter, Fugro has already successfully implemented many of these remote strategies over the last 20 years; the last few months, however, have progressed them to the point where formerly apprehensive clients have not only acknowledged their acceptance and satisfaction but also embraced the solutions and promoted them within their own organisations.


As a result of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, we are experiencing an interesting paradigm shift. Adopting new work set-ups has facilitated business continuity as remote operations enable us to perform offshore tasks while working from home (or the office, where local restrictions allow) and offer greater flexibility for a work-life balance. Covid-19 therefore presents an opportunity for businesses to transform in ways that reduce our office footprint, change old habits and are more efficient. Meanwhile, the safety and well-being of our employees remain our priority in everything we do, including client projects and the communities in which we operate. Our decades-long commitment to remote operations is proving a wise strategy

View of the command centre at one of Fugro’s Remote Operation Centres

as pandemic restrictions continue. Elements of this new work paradigm include operating with reduced numbers of offshore personnel; securing access to survey data acquired from vessels from almost anywhere in the world; and acquiring Geo-data via wholly autonomous vessels.


The need to remotely view, access and control offshore assets is not new. Back in the 1990s, we were using radios to position and track multiple vessels on complex 3D seismic explorations. This concept was migrated to other offshore operations and we have since tracked hundreds of assets throughout the world with differing degrees of access and control capability. Despite the obvious advantages – the main one being that fewer offshore field staff, crew changes and vessels are required – it took a long time for this mode of operation to become accepted industry-wide. Like all important innovations, remote technology has evolved quicker than the social and legislative framework in which it operates. Covid-19 has positively impacted the uptake of remote solutions because, in the face of global restrictions, they are often the only viable alternative for keeping cable projects going, leaving operators no choice but to ‘go remote’. Since the start of 2020, demand for our remote positioning and operations services have skyrocketed and, having now repeatedly proven the technology and its efficiency gains to so many clients, we believe demand will remain even after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.


With Covid-19 travel restrictions sometimes preventing client representatives from travelling to our survey vessels, Fugro has developed a flexible and efficient ‘remote client representative’ option that offers business continuity and provides faster insights to acquired survey

data. The remote client is based on Fugro proprietary software and Microsoft collaborative tools and made available through specialised software with an increased VSAT onboard and round-the-clock IT support. The remote client representative is customisable based on a client’s needs but primarily includes a web-browser-based information dashboard (built around a powerful GIS environment), where clients can monitor a survey’s progress and make near-real-time decisions as the data are acquired. The remote client solution is not an exact replication of traditional offshore client representation; in fact, it fosters a more inclusive, unique and new experience whereby the client and project onshore teams track onboard operations in real time and effectively communicate with the offshore team, all while working from home.


Remote Expert is a low bandwidth video and audio support tool in the form of a headset that allows the wearer to transmit video and audio back to the office. It has been deployed on most of our vessels for onshore viewers to experience virtual vessel visits and inspections. Another notable advantage is that, should anything break down on the vessel, a service engineer can provide third-party remote support via Remote Expert instead of the vessel having to return to port to be fixed. Remote Expert can also facilitate remote IT support for any computers onboard the vessels. Futhermore, with Covid-19 still affecting travel, mobilising surveyors onboard vessels is not always possible but Remote Expert allows experienced surveyors to guide and supervise offshore staff from the comfort of their own home. Operations via Remote Expert are gaining traction and acceptance even by government authorities, and it will not be long until remote audits, visits and investigations, and technical and emergency support, via Remote Expert are the norm.





Satellite-derived bathymetry solutions are an efficient way to acquire preliminary information about a shallow water site. Much progress has been made in recent years when characterising shallow water sites, from higher quality images becoming commercially available to the development of more efficient software that accurately derives bathymetry contours. Today we regularly use these solutions for an initial assessment of difficult-to-access sites. However, Fugro Blue Shadow in following preliminary assessment, operation it is then necessary to acquire accurate data and this is where uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) play an important role. The first USV was developed primarily to help us deploy survey solutions in hazardous environments. It quickly became clear that, besides reducing the HSSE exposure of our workforce, it offered several other advantages, such as acting as force multiplier, dramatically reducing fuel consumption and the ability to operate in extreme weather conditions. Fugro invested in the development of USVs and was selected for the Australian Government’s HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP) scheme, where Fugro has committed to acquiring data to update nautical charts for safer navigation and share with scientific agencies, including Geoscience Australia and the national AusSeabed community. Fugro has just deployed a new class of USV, the Blue Shadow (formerly known as the FAS-900), for the first time in Australia to expedite data collection. The vessels are managed from



View of a remote positioning operation

remote operations centres (ROCs) and the Geo-data they acquire are transferred in near real time using Fugro’s Back2Base™ software, all of which achieves significant environmental, safety and efficiency gains.


Robotic boats promise a dramatic change in the way we work at sea and Fugro, like many survey companies that run traditional crewed vessels, is investing in such innovative remote solutions. SEA-KIT International is a UK company that has already demonstrated the future of robotic maritime operations and with whom Fugro has partnered to create the next generation of USVs. SEAKIT International’s 12 m USV Maxlimer has just completed a 22-day-long mission to map an area of seafloor in the Atlantic, where they “skippered” the entire outing via satellite from its base in Tollesbury in Essex on the south-east English coast. Global adoption of robotic boats is still some time away as practicality, safety and legal concerns remain, but with more projects being successfully completed, the concept is gaining the industry’s confidence and acceptance.


As vessels transit from one project location to another, Fugro collects bathymetry information to add to our already existing rich repository of seabed information to support the Seabed 2030 project, where participants crowdsource seabed information with the aim of full ocean coverage by 2030. Fugro has contributed over 1.1 million km2 of bathymetry,

including data from the MH370 and Mareano projects, to this crowdsourcing initiative so far. We believe that, through participation in the Seabed 2030 initiative, cable owners, installers and maintenance contractors could not only contribute positively to the programme but also raise the profile of the cable industry as a trustworthy partner in sustainability endeavours. Fugro is working to incorporate this objective across its entire global fleet and also encouraging clients to join the initiative by using our remote services on their vessels, which make it easy for them to share their data: an increasing share of crowdsourced bathymetry donated by other companies is collected (but not owned) by Fugro. The system we offer is a very light piece of hardware that can be added to any vessel already equipped with an echosounder system. The data are then automatically collected by our remote systems, neutralised, converted to a compatible format and donated to Seabed 2030 initiative on behalf of our client.


As alluded to at the start of this article, the pandemic has negatively impacted several projects in our industry this

year. At Fugro, we’ve seen how embracing remote technologies can help our industry successfully navigate this new working environment. Our remote solutions are circumventing some of the hurdles raised by the current Covid-19 restrictions, and this is especially true for continuity of offshore operations, despite the current impediments to global travel. That said, we also need to consider the longterm implications of this crisis and how they will be solved. While cable-routing projects for 2020 and 2021 were mostly already planned before Covid-19 struck, the next round of projects is without doubt being impacted and it will take all of our industry’s ingenuity and new technology to ensure vital submarine cable projects still go ahead. STF RENÉ D’AVEZAC DE MORAN is Global Key Account Manager for Fugro, and oversees the global business development of desktop studies and route surveys that Fugro provides to the subsea cable industry. René is also regionally responsible for cable route surveys in Asia-Pacific. René began his offshore career in 1998 in Singapore with CGG, supporting nearshore seismic acquisition projects, and headed Fugro’s offshore positioning service line in Asia-Pacific from 2002 to 2009. He revived the cable route surveys service line in Asia in 2004 and has been instrumental in the creation of a global cable expertise service offering within Fugro.


Virginia Beach’s Enterprise-Class Data Center and Cable Landing Station

NOW PRE-LEASING • Direct on-net connection (less than 400 yards) from the highest capacity subsea cables in the world: MAREA, BRUSA, and (soon) Dunant. • Carrier neutral dark fiber and high capacity lit service options to: ✓ Ashburn ✓ Richmond ✓ Washington, D.C. ✓ Atlanta ✓ Charlotte ✓ Columbus • Located 3.5 miles from Camp Pendleton cable landing zone and 7.5 miles from the proposed Sandbridge cable landing zone. • 21,716 sq ft of whitespace, steel perimeter fencing, dual-factor authentication, 7,000 sq ft of leasable Class A office space, build-to-suit SCIF room option. • The building is constructed at 15ft above sea level and to withstand 200mph winds (FEMA Wind Zone III).

Now pre-leasing. Contact for more information. Follow Us: PointOne Development Corp. @pointonecorp NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115






xactly 2 years ago Hengtong Marine published a short article [1] in SubTel Forum outlining some of the challenges and features required from a higher fibre count repeatered system cable. This paper follows up on the steps taken since that date following the design, qualification, transfer to production and manufacturing stages to the delivery of a 32 fibre count SDM cable system. The International Energy Agency (IEA), IEA 2020, Data Centre and Data Transmission Networks Tracking Report June 2020, [2] states “ Global internet traffic surged by almost 40% between February and mid-April 2020, driven by growth in video streaming, video conferencing, online gaming, and social networking. This growth comes on top of risFigure 1: IEA Increase in Internet traffic & Data Center Workload 2010- 2019 [2] ing demand for digital services over the past decade: since 2010, the number of internet users worldwide has doubled while global internet traffic has grown 12-fold”. ly driven by Data Centres, continues to influence the specifications of new submarine cable systems to include The report also provides some astounding facts on data higher fibre counts with SDM transmission technology. transmission, citing that most of the world’s Internet Protocol (IP) traffic goes through data centres …. and for every When you read any articles about Data Centres, either bit of data that travels the network from data centres to end onshore or offshore on the sea bottom, the key points discussed are the rising demands of Artificial Intelliusers, another five bits of data are transmitted within and gence (AI) and Internet of Thing (IoT) applications, among data centres, This 5x magnification in data transmission puts more demands on the submarine optical cable interconnected data centers, reduced costs, reduced risks networks connecting global data centres. Furthermore on demand for data services, “Demand for data and digital services is expected to continue its exponential growth over the coming years, with global internet traffic expected to double by 2022 to 4.2 zettabytes per year (4.2 trillion gigabytes) … while the number of Internet of Things (IoT) connections is expected to double from 12 billion to 25 billion. These trends are driving exponential growth in demand for data centre and network services.” Figure 2: Average Number of Fibres in Cable Systems by RFS Year The report concludes “Demand for data centre services will continue to grow strongly, driven by media streaming and emerging technologies such as AI, virtual reality, 5G and blockchain…… in upcoming years, new, more efficient technologies will be needed to keep pace with growing data demand.” This exponential growth in demand for network services linking data centers is fueling the increased transmission requirements of submarine optical cable systems. This explosion of traffic capacity, mainFigure 3: Cable System Length Versus Number of Fibre Pairs NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE and 99.99999% uptime. Supporting these traffic capacity trends, the ITU estimates that at the end of 2019, 53.6 % of the global population, or 4.1 billion people are using the internet. [3] The trend line of this internet usage has increased by 2.62% of the global population (or 0.2 billion people) per year since 2015 and the linear increase shows no signs of change. None of this would be possible without the next generation of resilient, reliable submarine cables. Unrestricted access to high speed communication links and to cloud computing services is only possible through highly reliable submarine optical cable networks. These requirements have created an opportunity for Hengtong Marine to design and qualify a new 16 fiber pair submarine cable design structure known as HORC-2 with 32 fibre capacity, and enhanced cable characteristics compared to the existing repeatered system cable HORC-1 cable (with 24 fibre capacity). Some aspects and challenges of the cable design methodology, manufacturing processes and system assembly and test are discussed in the following paragraphs.


Figure 1 below takes a look at the historical trends covering the average number of fibres in cable systems arranged by RFS (Ready for Service) date over the last 25 years [4]. Examining this data shows that the average number of fibres in cables tends to vary from 6 to 12, with no real trend evident regarding increasing or decreasing fibre count. Figure 2 presents some data on the relationship between system length and number of fibre pairs for systems deployed over the same 25 year period [4]. The longest global system networks tend to have 2 to 4 fibre pairs, while the last generation of repeatered optical cables had a maximum of 12 fibre pairs in the system cable. (Some data points with more than 12 fibre pairs represent short un-repeatered systems). Repeatered cable systems built over last 25 years (with less than 12 fibre pairs) have used the same basic mechanical cable structure with few if any improvements or innovations. Current system specifications to incorporate 16 fibre pairs or more into a repeatered cable system are moving repeatered cable design & manufacture into a new era of challenge and opportunity.




When introducing any new cable technology, with a new cable structure and enhanced properties the timeline from design, through development, process engineering, cable qualification, cable joint qualification, repeater termination qualification, 3rd party verification of cable design, release to market and finally project award, manufacture and FAT should not be under-estimated. Products which have to operate with high degrees of reliability over a 25 year design life have to be thoroughly researched, tested and manufactured under the strictest quality and process control conditions. This process does not happen over-night, so the work required to deliver the benefits in communications speed, bandwidth and reliability expected today commenced many months earlier. Some key dates in the development of the HORC-2 product family are as presented in Table 1: Table 1: Project Activity Timeline Activity


Kick off the 32 fibre cable concept


Design, Process & Engineering trials

2018/04 – 2018/07

Development Cable Production & Qualification

2018/08 – 2019/02

Design Review


Design Improvement / Production Trials

2019/02 – 2019/04

Cable Product Qualification

2019/04 – 2019/05

Cable Joint / Repeater Termination Qualification

2019/05 – 2019/06

Product Design Review / Release to Market


Initial Project Integration & FAT


From initial concept kick-off to product release to market spaned a period of 16 months, with a commercial system FAT being completed 12 months after product release.


When introducing any new product, it is useful to identify clearly what are they key differentiators between the new and existing products available for submarine cable communication systems. Some key technical changes between the existing HORC1 (first generation cable) and newly introduced HORC-2 (2nd generation) cable products are highlighted next:

Table 2: HORC-2 Technical Improvements

Fibre Count Conductor DC resistance (Note 1) Operating Voltage (Note 2) Pressure resistance



% Change




<1.00 Ί/km

<0.89 Ί/km


15 kV

20 kV


83 MPa

100 MPa


Notes (1) Conductor DC resistance at ocean bottom temperature 4 C (2) HORC-1 originally qualified for 15kV, requalification of HORC-1 to 20kV due to factory manufacturing process improvements.


ensure that when the cable is deployed on the sea bottom the optical fibres remain undamaged and capable of operating for 25 year even when the cable is laid with a small permanent residual tension. The optical fibre will remain undamaged for 25 years when the as deployed residual tension is less than the Nominal Permanent Tensile Strength (NPTS) cable parameter. This example shows where the cable system design has to consider all processes the system will experience, the cable loading process, storage conditions, the laying operation, the in-situ environmental operating conditions and any future cable recovery, repair and jointing operations. All to ensure an uninterrupted and reliable transmission medium. To ensure high product quality, a stable and consistent

Hengtong Marine cables use a Fibre In Metal Tube (FIMT) as the central cable element in the cable structure. This optical unit is very robust and protects the fibres during the applied forces, pressures and thermal fluctuations experienced during the manufacturing processes, the marine deployment activity and the 25 years operational life of all cable types (LW, LWP, SAL, SA and DA). The cable structure is designed to control and limit the radial and axial penetration of water and molecular hydrogen using several Figure 4: HORC-2 LW Cable Structure sequential barriers which would otherwise adversely affect the optical fibre transmission parameters. Excellent axial blocking performance is required in the event of a cable break due to external forces, to limit the ingress of water along the cable structure. Cable with water ingress is removed prior to commencing any repair joints, so having a well blocked cable saves both repair time and costs. The key design considerations when introducing an new optical tube unit of increased diameter (to accommodate a 32 fibre count, an increase of 33% compared to HORC-1) is to ensure adequate fibre capacity, a reliable excess fibre length (EFL), and avoiding any Figure 5: Frequency distribution of Bare Fibre and Cabled Attenuation (with Large Effective Area 130 um, G.654 Ultra micro-bending of the fibre. This is to Low Loss Fibre)



FEATURE control of EFL is required and this is implemented by the selection of the correct fibre specification, precision control of fibre pay-off tension during the FIMT process coupled with optimised fibre routing into the tube. Ensuring the correct application of gel surrounding the fibres in the tube is important to ensure the FIMT is water blocked and adjacent fibres are buffered. This is achieved by ensuring the fibre gel application / tube filling rate is controlled and stable while maintaining a stable optical unit take up tension. The objective is of course to achieve a cabled optical attenuation with ideally no additional attenuation increase compared to bare fibre measurements. For the HORC-2 cable the bare fibre attenuation specification is 0.152 +/- 0.003 dB/km. The cabled attenuation achieved also falls within the range of 0.152 +/- 0.003 dB/km with measured results from 192 production sample measurements shown in Figure 4 below.


Figure 6: Abrasion testing of LW HDPE insulation

Cable system powering requirements will increase depending on increased number of amplifiers and system length requirements. To achieve trans-oceanic length capability with higher fibre count repeatered cables, the cable conductor resistance has been reduced by 11% (making the electrical transmission more efficient), while the maximum operational voltage has increased by 33% ! To achieve an improved cable high voltage rating of 20kV for HORC-2 compared to Figure 7: The Warrington Vault structure of HORC-2 cable HORC-1 (15kV ) the challenge was addressed by (a) improving the factory HDPE raw materials handling and extrusion processes and (b) by increasing Table 3: Summary of LW Cable Mechanical Properties the HV lifetime qualification test limit requirements. LW Cable Property HORC-1 HORC-2 % Change A new fully enclosed & automatic HDPE granule delivery system has been constructed starting from delivWeight in Air (kg/m) 0.57 0.67 + 17 % ery at goods inwards inspection, to storage and delivery Weight in Water (kg/m) 0.31 0.41 + 32 % to the extrusion lines. The fully enclosed vacuum transfer system maintains the high purity of the granules and avoids Cable Diameter (mm) 18.0 18.0 0 introducing any materials contamination. From Goods inCable NPTS 20 kN 30 kN + 50 % wards the HDPE granules are transferred to high capacity storage silos, one silo for each grade of HDPE and supplier, Cable NOTS 30 kN 50 kN + 66 % to avoid cross contamination. From the storage silos, the Cable NTTS 50 kN 75 kN + 50 % granules are automatically fed to each of the extrusion lines to allow long length continuous extrusion of products. Cable UTS 65 kN 95 kN + 46 % The cable HV lifetime qualification has been increased



from 100kV held for 27 hours (for 15kV x 25 year design life) to 100kV held for 105 hours (for 20kV x 25 year design life). These changes implemented for HORC-2 cable manufacture, have allowed both the HORC-1 and HORC2 products to be qualified for use at 20kV. The HORC-2 LW cable is manufactured with a larger than required wall thickness of HDPE insulation material to incorporate a safety margin on insulation material to account for small scratches and insulation material wear during loading and deployment to the sea bottom. For LW cable abrasion to occur there has to be (a) a strong sea bottom current active and (b) the sea-bottom material must be hard and abrasive to remove the HDPE insulation. Laboratory testing of the abrasion resistance of LW cables (Figure 5) has shown that the removal of 2.10mm of insulation thickness requires a cable movement of 38,000m over a suitably hard and abrasive sea bottom. Laboratory tests have confirmed that even after this level of cable damage, the criteria for 20kV design life can be achieved.


With the introduction of a new mechanical structure it was decided to improve the hydrostatic pressure performance of the LW cable structure to 100 MPa (almost 10,000m water depth) to allow almost unrestricted global cable route engineering and increased factors of safety for systems deployed in shallower water depths. The 20% improvement in pressure resistance was achieved by careful dimensional tolerancing of the ‘9 + 9 + 9’ steel wires forming the Warrington vault structure of the HORC-2 cable and the degree of swaging of the copper tube around the wires to maintain a strong & stable pressure resistant structure (see Figure 6). The new cable structure has a proven hydrostatic pressure resistance of 100MPa, but is conservatively rated for use at pressures of 83MPa.

the safe working window of cable operations allowing deployments and repairs in adverse weather conditions. The qualified HORC-2 properties have a great influence on the cable deployment and on bottom stability characteristics, which can improve the reliability of systems in deep water.


Discussing cable deployment, the ship & cable speed, cable weight and drag forces all combine to determine the Hydrodynamic constant, H which is used to calculate the cable deployment angle at a given deployment speed. It is important to control the cable deployment angle to avoid laying the cable in suspensions, with the risk of future cable abrasion related failures. The Hydrodynamic constant, H (Rad.m/s) is defined as:

W: the cable weight in water, (N/m) ρ: the seawater density, (1030kg/m³) d: the cable diameter, (m) CD: the drag coefficient, (2.2 for lay) The Hydrodynamic constant for HORC-2 LW cable is 49.3 degree knots. So if the cable ship speed is 3 knots, the calculated deployment angle will be 16.4 degrees. If the surveyed sea bottom slopes are greater than 16 degrees, then the cable ship speed has to be reduced to correct the deployment angle to a steeper value, to avoid cable suspensions. HORC-1 LW has a smaller Hydrodynamic constant of 42.2 degree knots, which implies slower cable deployment speeds over sea bottom with similar high slopes. Deployment speed clearly has both operational duration, commercial and system reliability implications.


With the final design frozen the “qualified” HORC-2 LW cable properties compared to HORC-1 can be summarised in Table 3 below The 32% increase in cable weight in water has benefits in terms of cable deployment, reliability and stability of as-laid position (lack of movement over the sea bottom). The 50% plus increases in cable tension parameters NTTS, NOTS and NPTS are useful in extending the safe operational window of tensions which can be applied to the cable during marine operations. The increased factors of safety, translate into a deep water cable which can extend

Figure 8: Classical Theory for On-Bottom Stability




Considering on-bottom cable stability in the presence of near bottom currents, using classical theory, the water velocity V90 acting at 90 degrees to the cable to initiate cable movement is defined in Figure 7. For HORC-2 LW cable the water velocity V90 required to initiate instability is 0.246 m/s, compared to 0.217 m/s for HORC-1 LW. This is a +13% improvement in stability. The stability curves (Figure 8) for the HORC-2 cable family is shown below in Red Squares & the HORC-1 cable family in Green Circles. HORC-2 cables all have a higher “cable weight / diameter ratio”, indicating an improved on bottom stability value.


Figure 9: On Bottom Stability Curves

Deep water LW cable recovery is recognised as the most technically demanding operation, due to reduced margins of safety caused by cable tensions approaching the NTTS parameter. The benefits of having a LW cable design with improved NTTS, NOTS and NPTS parameters means that the cable recovery depths can be extended. When considering cable recovery tensions, it is normal to consider cable recovery under adverse conditions (75-degree cable lead, 3m/s vertical sheave velocity and recovery speeds up to 1 knot). Figure 9 below shows the envelope of recovery curves for HORC-2 LW cable under these worst case conditions. Limited by the cable NTTS, safe cable recovery up to 8000m water depth (and beyond) are achievable with large factors of safety. Theoretically recovery from water depth of 15000m is achievable ! When the recovery operation is analysed with the increased optical amplifier capacity of a repeater housing in the water column, the maximum water depths for recovery under adverse conditions can be calculated in a similar way. During the recovery of a repeater around the cable-ship sheave the inboard tension has to increase higher than the outboard tension due to the magnification lever effect of the rigid housing on the sheave. Figure 10 below shows the envelope of LW cable recovery curves with a repeater housing in suspension & being recovered around the sheave (with tension magnification) onto deck, under Adverse Weather Conditions. Limited by the cable NTTS, safe cable and repeater recovery up to 7000m water depth (and beyond) are achievable with large factors of safety. Theoretically recovery from water depth of 10,000m is achievable !




To support the continued explosive growth in data traffic generated through Data Centres strategically positioned around the globe, a second generation optical cable with increased data capacity utilising an increased number of optical fibres has been successfully qualified for use generally in accordance with ITU standards [5]. Hengtong Marine is already working on a third generation repeatered network optical cable with higher data capacity, enhanced reliability and transmission capabilities to meet the predicted future traffic growth demands of clients. STF RENDONG XU, General Manager of Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable System Co. Ltd., is a professional engineer and industry professor (Part-time) of Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications. He has been engaged in product research and development, technology development, new production line process technology, project introduction and industrialization of scientific research institutes. He holds invention patents and has published several international academic papers. He has won the first prize of science and technology of Jiangsu Province and the first prize of science and technology progress of Chinese Society for Optical Engineering. At present, his main research direction is marine technology and engineering. SHAWN XU is the System Solution Department Manager at Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable Systems Co. Ltd., and has been working in the marine industry for 10 years. He holds a Master of Engineering degree from Beihang University specialising in mechanical design.

WENDY WANG, is the Marketing Manager of Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable System Co. Ltd. Wendy has previously worked on the commercial aspects of submarine communication systems and has extensive experience of marketing management, bidding & quotation, marketing planning,

Figure 10: Envelopes for LW Cable Recovery Curves under Adverse Weather conditions

Figure 11: LW Cable with Repeater Housing Recovery Curves (including sheave passage)

marketing analysis, strategic management and benchmarking. She is familiar with the history and current situation of the Submarine cable industry. DR. JERRY BROWN is Chief Scientist of Jiangsu Hengtong Marine Cable Systems, responsible for Product development, Product Quality and Technical support for engineering solutions. Previously he held Technical positions with Ocean Specialists Inc., JDR Cable Systems and Alcatel Submarine Networks. Jerry has worked exclusively in the subsea industry. Based in Asia for the last 10 years he has worked to strengthen Hengtong Marine’s technical capabilities as an international cable system supplier.

REFERENCES [1] Hengtong Marine, Connecting the World, Connecting the Future, SubTel Forum, Issue 103, p 51 to 54 [2] [3] [4] Submarine Telecoms Forum, Submarine Cable Almanac online version, Issue 28, November 2018. ( ) [5] ITU-T G.976 Test methods applicable to optical fibre submarine cable systems




THE NZADI CABLE SYSTEM Connecting Angola’s Underserved Regions Both On- and Off-Shore



he Nzadi Cable System, the most recent domestic offshore submarine telecommunications cable project has been a longtime coming and timely development for both Angola’s conventional telecommunications, offshore energy sectors and the Congo Basin region countries. This new subsea system aims to end the constraints of satcom-based communications in the region’s offshore energy sector; expand much needed telecom infrastructure and services to rural communities within Angola; bring employment and professional training for local workers; provide fibre connectivity between the northernmost semi-exclave of Cabinda to mainland Angola; as well as provide much needed route diversity to and from telecommunications networks of Angola’s neighboring northern countries. From a system design perspective, the Nzadi Cable System is a novel approach. Two previous projects failed to deliver on the promise of a completed festoon system in the country, as early as 2009 and as recently as 2017, both involving the installation of an active, repeatered subsea telecom systems consisting both of two main trunks



and redundant cable segments to connect offshore energy installations and providing wired connectivity for conventional Mobile Telecom Carrier services between mainland Angola and Cabinda, respectively. The Nzadi Cable System bucks this trend by proposing a single trunk of approximately 950 km subsea cable between Angola’s capital city of Luanda and the northern city of Cabinda. It will have a branch leg to the Oil & Gas northern producing hub city of Soyo and is conceived as a passive and unrepeatered system aimed at serving both the onshore/ offshore energy and traditional Telecom Carrier industries. However, the building of this new system has much farther-reaching social, economic and environmental implications. The social potential of the new system is tremendous. The Nzadi Cable System Project is committed to using as much local content as possible thereby benefitting local businesses that qualify for the provision of civil works for the dry plant side in Luanda, Soyo and Cabinda, for example. Other mid- to long-term services are expected to be contracted to local businesses for the provision of

The Nzadi Cable System Project is committed to using as much local content as possible thereby benefitting local businesses that qualify for the provision of civil works for the dry plant side in Luanda, Soyo and Cabinda, for example.

water and power supply, infrastructure security, dry plant maintenance services, as well as direct employment for predominantly young professionals from said locations who will be required to operate and administer the subsea network and the cable landing stations (CLS). Moreover, the project’s sponsors do not view the Nzadi Cable System as an isolated infrastructure, but rather as a potential joint initiative with the more established mobile and fixed Telecom Carriers and internet service providers (ISPs) already operating in Angola and who may be interested in co-funding, co-building and/or co-operating the future subsea system, which is very much in line with the Angolan telecommunications and passive telecommunications infrastructure regulatory agencies’ (INACOM and INFRACOM, namely) regulations aimed at promoting increased passive infrastructure sharing across the industry. It is joint initiatives such as these that will reduce investment and operating risks and costs for Telecom Carriers and ISPs, thus enabling the provision of higher quality services at significantly more affordable prices to end-users in what are expected to be previously unconnected and underserved parts of Angola. As such the project sponsors view themselves as active and engaged social partners of the Angolan Government’s efforts to re-launch and develop the Angolan economy. Of course, there is also an economic dimension to the project. Despite its primary role as a domestic festoon subsea telecom network, the Nzadi Cable System may potentially evolve beyond providing high capacity, low latency and highly reliable offshore connectivity to become an expanded regional network. Presently, most offshore energy installations operating in the Congo Basin are dependent on expensive, high latency satellite communications solutions that, at best, may provide up to 500 Mbps connectivity. While this is a significant improvement from the lower capacity rates most conventional satcom service providers offer, it is a far cry from the 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100+ Gbps connectivity provided by subsea fibre cable systems, which more than adequately meets the challenges of the socalled “digital oilfield”; enables offshore systems automation; allows for an increased remote workforce; improves health and safety on offshore installations and allows for additional cost reductions for Oil & Gas companies operating in Angola. Moreover, either the Nzadi Cable System itself or its

envisaged Cabinda CLS may be extended to connect – by sea, land or both – to neighboring countries, bringing much needed fibre route diversity to, and potentially enabling a significant increase in cross border communications, trade and economic ties between all three Congo Basin countries which include Angola, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. With its Ready for Service (RFS) date estimated at 2023, the Nzadi Cable System is a game changer for the region, of which the full extent of its social, economic and even environmental effects will only be appreciated many years down the road. As such, environmental gains are equally expected. Specifically, the Nzadi Cable System Project plans to sponsor a local marine and coastal research institute that will provide scholarships to students in rural areas who may be interested in conducting research on the behavioral patterns of the Nzadi River (more commonly known as the Congo River); on the floral and faunal life found in the Nzadi River’s diverse ecosystems; on the health of local mangroves, beaches of the Congo Basin and on the potential natural and manmade risks to existing subsea submarine telecom infrastructure in the region – the latter goal opening the possibility of exploring partnerships with research institutions for the deployment a SMART Cable segment for environmental monitoring and understanding the oceanby deploying oceanographic sensors. The gains of this environmental and social responsibility initiatives are hoped to benefit all Congo Basin countries and foster greater cultural ties between them. The Nzadi Cable System Project is sponsored by The Nzadi Consortium, a joint initiative of two wholly owned and recently created Angolan special purpose vehicles (SPV ) – Kakike, Lda. and KumoxiCom, Lda. – specializing in accounting, investment fund management and business asset management, and in telecommunications project management, building, operating, administrating and maintaining passive telecommunications networks, respectively. STF

The Nzadi Cable System may potentially evolve beyond providing high capacity, low latency and highly reliable offshore connectivity to become an expanded regional network.

DOMINGOS COELHO is the President of the Board of Directors of the Nzadi Consortium. He has 24 years of experience working as a Air Traffic Controller and later as Head of Air Traffic Service of Angola’s Civil Aviation Authority, as well as Head of the Department of Air Traffic Control and Aeronautical Telecommunications at the Angola’s at National Airports Exploration and Air Navigation Company (ENANA). More recently, Mr. Domingos Coelho held managerial positions at the executive level ConocoPhillips’ and Eni S.p.A’s Angolan subsidiaries companies over a 12 year period.




INDUSTRY AUDIENCE Advertise in SubTel Forum publications used by decisionmakers across the entire industry: • SubTel Forum Magazine • Submarine Cable Almanac • Submarine Telecoms Industry Report • Submarine Cables of the World Wall Map • Submarine Cables of the World Online Map





Connecting Continents at a Time When Communication Has Become the Fourth Utility BY GIL SANTALIZ


f we have learned one thing this year, it is that global communications are a necessity. In fact, connectivity has become almost more important than electricity - and solidified itself as the fourth utility. The digital networks that deliver the internet to our homes and communication between continents have risen above an ancillary “nice to have” to a service that is critical to everything from economic stability to education. NJFX has proven crucial as well, by creating a new model of connectivity where the Cable Landing Station (CLS) is more than just a passive location. The CLS is a secure connectivity hub, necessary for future proofing our global network. Over the last five years, NJFX’s CLS campus has evolved to become a pivotal location enabling global communications in a more efficient manner. Just by the numbers, the facility hosts $2 billion worth of assets, 25 networks, including 80% of U.S. carriers, more than 300 ASNs and four subsea cable systems. In a relatively short period of time, the subsea systems landing at NJFX have capacity that increased from approximately 10 terabyte



systems to 160-300 terabytes. That level of capacity is spearheaded by the convergence of four subsea cables establishing NJFX as a connectivity hub enabling direct intercontinental connectivity across continents. The inter-exchange of traffic is available via TGN1, TGN2, Seabras and HAVFRUE/AEC2. Other cable systems are currently being planned. This convergence decreases hops and increases security while improving latency and allows carriers and service providers to reach their destinations more directly. In particular, the launch of the AEC2/HAVFRUE cable system, the first new subsea system to traverse the North Atlantic in 20 years, brings unprecedented bandwidth via NJFX. The system completes the North Atlantic Loop between North America and Denmark, Ireland and Norway, unlocking the Nordic Gateway. This gateway is one of the few genuinely sustainable solutions in the data center industry today, allowing utilization of 100% emissions-free hydropower from the Nordic countries. Another unique offering is the establishment of the

DE-CIX and NetIX internet exchanges at the NJFX CLS. This fosters an environment for customers to exchange traffic so that their data can flow directly from the U.S. East Coast to Europe, LATAM and beyond, as well as up and down the East Coast U.S. corridor to the New York metro area, and to Ashburn, Virginia. “For global enterprises, ISPs, CDNs and network operators, having access to diverse terrestrial and subsea options for connectivity is the foundation of their ability to reach new customers and penetrate new markets,” states Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International. In a shift from the legacy method of enterprises, which includes simply tying data back to their own data centers, financial institutions and enterprises are now establishing new Points-of-Presence and creating network nodes at NJFX. This provides them access to low latency routes into Frankfurt and low latency routes providing direct connectivity to LATAM, bypassing legacy points of failure vulnerable to hurricane season. It also includes multiple underground dark fiber providers with diverse entrances into the NJFX CLS and low latency routes from NJFX to Asia-PAC, bypassing legacy chokepoints like NYC. We are seeing a massive shift in the connectivity landscape, as older subsea systems reach their end of life. “We strongly believe that this new NJFX CLS hub offers a robust ecosystem,” comments AquaComms CEO Nigel Bayliff. “It’s a unique facility and we recognized it as built with the latest power and cooling technologies, with highly optimized security. The area is well established for landing submarine cables.” “NJFX is strategically located for customers who want to connect to Ashburn, Virginia or lower Manhattan, while still offering alternate routes away from the congestion of New York,” states Peder Naerbo, Owner & Chairman of the Board, Bulk Infrastructure. “We recognize NJFX’s unique position, physically and philosophically and are pleased to have our HAVFRUE cable system endpoint at NJFX.”

This new age model of a carrier-neutral CLS campus, with a fully integrated data center, can do what traditional carrier incumbents have been doing for decades, controlling their networks in a wholesale environment, with no backhaul required, low latency and better access to connectivity. The new age CLS makes it possible for continuous, diverse, resilient, and low latency connectivity to support the massive bandwidth needs of today’s society. STF As CEO of NJFX, GIL SANTALIZ helps carriers strategically diversify connectivity options to key hubs across North America, Europe, and South America, bypassing legacy chokepoints. Operating “Tier 3 by the Subsea,” NJFX is the world’s first colocation campus that strategically intersects a carrier-neutral subsea Cable Landing Station meet-me room with an independent Tier 3 colocation facility. Strategically located 64 feet above sea level and hurricane 5 resistant, the NJFX colocation facility has four subsea cables to Europe and South America, and seven independent U.S. fiber based backhaul providers. NJFX does something that no other facility can: provide a viable alternative for carriers and large organizations to design resilient network architectures and further ensure global networks stay operational. Santaliz’ innovative approach to thinking outside traditional telecom partnerships and network architecture, led him to establish NJFX’s unique offering. Previously, as founder of a metro fiber network company called 4Connections LLC, Gil realized there was a lack of route diversity for carriers. New York was the hotspot for internet landing points. A single point of connection means a single point of failure, and Gil knew this was something that needed to be solved. Gil sold 4Connections to Cablevision, which is now owned by Altice. Santaliz is a member of the Submarine Networks EMEA 2020 Advisory Board, as well as the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Advisory Board. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.






ave you ever given up loading a website or watching a movie because it just wouldn’t load? You’re not alone… Network performance, scalability at speed for IT environments and infrastructure, capability to reach out to users and offer faster, reliable services, are just some of the major pain points a lot of enterprises as well as over the top (OTT) providers still suffer in 2020 and cause havoc when it comes to user experience. All these challenges have one thing in common, or should I say, one common cause of the problem. That is the exponential growth of internet usage and production of data. It is all about data. Data generated by gaming platforms, virtual reality (VR) environments, financial trading systems, internet of things (IoT) applications, vehicle telemetry, remote surgeries, the list goes on to an endless number of use cases, some of which we can’t even think about today. IDC predicts that the global datasphere will grow from 33 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025. To keep up with the storage demands stemming from all this data creation, IDC forecasts that over 22 ZB of storage capacity must ship across all media types from 2018 to 2025, with nearly 59% of that capacity supplied from the HDD industry. As this grows, so grows the dependence of all of us on



networks. With some of these applications being time critical – such as driverless cars, financial trading and remote surgery – several enterprises experience some rocky service provisioning. But what if there is a solution? First, there is. Secondly, it is becoming widely available week by week. I am talking about the emergence of data centres at the edge, or as it is usually referred to, edge computing. Edge computing holds the promise - and it is delivering that same promise right now – of bringing computer power closer to the data source: the user. Edge refers to enterprise-hardened servers and appliances that are not in core data centres. This includes server rooms, servers in the field, cell towers, and smaller data centres located regionally and remotely for faster response times. Ultimately, those 175 ZB of data will only become a worthy business asset when enterprises and OTTs make sense of the data, and that is where edge computing is proving to be as crucial as mainframes were in the 1950s. Edge will potentially be an even bigger revolution and by 2025, 75% of enterprise data will be processed at the edge, compared to only 10% today, says IBM. On the other hand, edge computing is happening because 5G is also being deployed all around the world. IBM says that the global 5G-enabled edge computing market is

set to exceed US$50 billion by 2025. Today, this is still an emerging segment. A lot of the applications and latency-sensitive use cases I mentioned previously, will gain new strength with the availability of 5G networks which support bandwidth-hungry applications. This is because 5G offers greater speeds which can be less than ten milliseconds that really allow to bring down latency and data transfer delays, which ultimate results in saving lives, speeding business transactions, creating new revenues and consequently, enabling a continuous wave of innovation to build new applications. Ultimately, the industry is on a journey to reduce latency. And it is succeeding. What before used to take more than ten milliseconds, thanks to edge computing and 5G can now take less than that. In some cases, latency is down to even two and three milliseconds. All this is proof of the importance of telecommunication companies in the current digital economy we live in. As we digitise and modernise our networks, the usage of ground-breaking infrastructure and new network architectures are placing telcos at the forefront of this new ecosystem of speedy networks, and therefore, the realisation of old and new latency-sensitive use cases.


Take gaming industry as an example, as esports explodes in popularity, cloud gaming is the beacon for the industry’s new age. Billions of users around the world are now playing online versus to the old days when they were constrained to a single piece of hardware such as a console. Time here is essential as well and latency is not an option, or you risk game over. All this is being enabled for the ever expanding ecosystems of infrastructure that is deployed closer to the gamer. Cloud has taken over the today’s $159 billion gaming industry and will be serving all users, no matter what devices they use to access their gaming service of choice. Nevertheless, success is dependent on how well networks perform and how much they bring down latency and avoid any lag too. In the gaming world, anything below the 100ms is considered acceptable as network latency, with 20ms to 40ms seen as optimal. However, as games become more realistic and things such as virtual and augmented reality pick up, consumers will eventually demand lower times. In the near future, players will demand latency periods as low the ones needed in the financial sector in 2020 for instance. Cloud gaming will enable the mass adoption of virtual reality (VR). And although gaming is what will take VR to the masses, its applications will go beyond the gaming world. Take VR concerts for instance, if you are watching

your favourite band play, live, from your living room on your headset, you will not set for anything less than real time. This is where the importance of low latency brought by 5G will be exposed to the masses of consumers. And businesses need to be ready to answer that call. Beyond that, just think of the applications in the e-health space. Remote surgery for example. You will no longer have to travel long distances to be operated. You could simply check in into a local hospital or clinic, and a surgeon 2,000 miles away could perform the surgery on you. This has already been demonstrated in China where the world’s first remote operation using 5G technology took place in 2019. According to reports, the surgery was made possible by the extremely low latency of 5G. There are many different use cases today that show just how relevant it is to have an ecosystem that brings users’ experiences as close to real time as possible. Nonetheless, just like with most things, all of the promises and benefits of edge and 5G come with their challenges.


Companies, especially OTT providers, are still braced with a series of pain points when it comes to taking full advantage of such technological revolution. Three of the main notions include the ability to capture business opportunities, increase the market share and implement the necessary infrastructure and systems fast and extensively. Speed is the name of the game. If for the financial industry, gamers or remote surgeons speed is the key to saving lives, making money or winning a virtual battle, for the OTTs, the skill to leverage it all is the difference between growing their own footprints, build revenues and retain customers on top of finding new ones, or getting nothing. Take financial trading as an example, traders have since the mid-2000s been rapidly shifting their systems closer to Wall Street in successful attempts to reduce latency. For this industry, time is literally money as one millisecond can be worth as much as US$100 million. Take for example an OTT brand who would like to launch and extend its services to more than five countries, for example Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. This company needs to, within weeks of time, deliver its services by establishing hundreds of servers and reach over 10 million of end users. Some of the questions they will be asking themselves would be how can they reach local mobile network operators (MNO) and internet service providers (ISP) quick; how NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE can they reach an edge pop fast; and do they have enough knowledge/know to understand the local environment? All this has historically taken months to develop and deploy. The answer, however, lies in simplification. A lot of businesses struggle in their quest to do business outside the borders where they were born because they attempt to build their whole ecosystem themselves. Companies like HGC put in place the necessary infrastructure and systems to handle such expansion requests that OTTs have in their globalisation and localisation expansion roadmaps. In short, HGC acts as an aggregator and single contact point for OTTs to reach end users very quickly as the infrastructure is well established with interconnection to local carriers, ISPs and MNOs. This results in OTTs being able to reach a large number of users – or as we like to call them, eyeballs – in a multitude of geographies at the switch of a button. We understand the local compliance regulations and we speak the local language wherever our customers want to go as we are a global brand with employers from 23 offices oversea covering 30+ different local languages. Our expertise is not only available in developed countries in Asia, but also in emerging south East Asia and ASEAN markets. We save OTT’s cost and time to reach local ISP one by one. Besides, our managed services provide quality assurance and a peace of mind to any OTT provider. The OTT world is very competitive. OTT companies like to increase market share as much as possible and increase brand stickiness with the local end users. HGC is a fast mover in the technology space who meets the fast changing market demand from these bandwidth-hungry service providers. However, despite all the incredible applications of edge computing and 5G, a key part of this evolution in how we connect our world and ourselves; how we build, deploy and maintain those ecosystems. And a big part of it are software defined networks (SDN), the usage of automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and other self-learning/ self-sufficient technologies.


Ultimately, you have to look at your business and really understand how this new wave of data processing and application delivery can best work for you. How can that data give you better insights? How and where edge computing will give you a boost in revenues? How can you benefit from 5G? And ultimately, how can you manage it all in an ever-growing complex ICT ecosystems? HGC is one of the leading experts in deploying an edge data centre in multiple locations across Asia-Pacific, Europe and beyond. A robust fiber network needs to also



be taken into account to connect it all, both subsea and terrestrial, enabling the use case for 5G. If, for example, you are an OTT operator you would prefer a company that has a mapped edge computing ecosystem, with the chance of reaching hundreds of millions of users or as we call it, eyeballs. In the past, businesses have wanted to reach as many people with local ISP content, content reach on a one by one basis. This not only is time consuming, but it is also extremely costly in addition to curbing anyone’s rapid expansion be it within a single market or several markets. This is where a one stop service becomes key to reach as many eyeballs as possible. This one stop service would include for example a provider with fiber networks, ISP agreements, an edge computing and data centre footprint, to name but a few. This is what we at HGC call Eyeballs-as-a-Service. From one content point you are able to reach 90% of other points. For example, if you are an enterprise or OTT in the South East Asia region, through an Eyeballs-as-a-Service platform, you can reach users not only in that region, but several other cities and countries around the world. In the past, people put their computers in the data centre. Now they want it in the frontend, close to user, and they also want to be able to manage it. HGC can help manage those platforms through one-stop shop deployment and maintenance managed services.


The SDN market size was estimated to be over US$8 billion in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a compound up until 2025, according to Global Market Insights(GMI). GMI highlights that the explosion in the number of mobile devices and server visualisation along with the advent of cloud computing technologies are forcing enterprises to re-examine their conventional network architectures. Most of the traditional network architectures are hierarchical and built on tiers of Ethernet switches. The design of these networking frameworks is ill-suited to cope with dynamic computing and storage needs to today’s enterprise networks. SDN can help due to its dynamic and flexible network architecture that can respond to constantly changing business, end-user and market requirements. According to the Open Network Foundation (ONF), SDN is an emerging architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable, making it ideal for the high-bandwidth, dynamic nature of today’s applications. This architecture decouples the network control and forwarding functions enabling the network control to become

directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services. From a business standpoint, delivering fast, secure and reliable digital experiences is one of the keys to increasing consumer engagement and brand stickiness. In this new 5G edge world, SDN is set to become a pillar in the design of 5G networks, especially by enabling operators and OTTs to build an intelligent architecture for network programmability, as well as the creation of multiple network hierarchies. This is where HGC’s SDX International Marketplace can help. The SDN platform provides fast provisioning of on-demand data centre-to-data centre and data centreto-cloud connectivity, centralised network management, and zero-touch services provisioning with a pay-as-you-go model and flexible contract periods to support OTT telco services. Through the HGC International Marketplace, customers can continuously reach different global public cloud services such as AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, MicrosoftSeaAzure, Google Cloud, as well as international Internet Pearce Cable Ad.pdf 1 7/2/2020 5:26:31 PM

Exchanges like AMS-IX, LINX, DE-CIX, to meet the needs of ISPs and global OTTs. In the long run, those who will survive in this new edge, 5G, SDN world, will be the ones who do not wait for demand to surpass their capabilities to serve the market they operate in. Planning ahead, expanding your ICT environments, automating them, literally digitising your digital footprint, is key to evolve your brand to a true 21st century platform aimed at making sense of data and, most importantly, in real time and from anywhere. Do that, and the return on your investment will catapult your brand to a whole new level. STF

Connecting Sea to Land

DENNIS CHAN has 15+ experience in Telecom and ICT industry from Solution Architect, Sales manager and Team AVP covering 5G, IoT, Edge Computing, AI, CDN etc. His professional experience in HGC Global communications, plus E.

Our Services

• Engineering Services • Site Surveys & Audits

Pearce Services is a valued partner providing survey, design, procurement, engineering, installation, test, and integration services for Cable Landing Stations.

• Logistics Support • • • •

With our team of in-house experts, and world wide logistics capabilities, we are ready to support your new and augmented station builds across the deep blue seas.

Inventory Management Rack/Stack Services Station Preconditioning Turnkey Greenfield Installations

• Wavelength Augments • Section Testing

Contact us to learn more about our Sea Cable services. 1222 Vine Street, Suite 301, Paso Robles, CA 93445

(805) 467-2528

• Almanac Data Sets • Capacity Pricing • Data Center and Cable Market Studies • Market Sector Reports • Customized Reporting









s with all telecom network operators worldwide, undersea cable network operators are striving to scale their networks quickly and efficiently to meet burgeoning demand for bandwidth and to support sophisticated services. One of the key trends in the undersea domain is terrestrial end point connection directly to data centers, circumventing the typical cable station handoff. The impetus for direct data center to data center connection via submarine networks is reduction in equipment requirements and especially in optical-to-electrical-to-optical conversions. Achieving transmission direct to the data center can increase reliability, reduce cost and power consumption, and ensure signal integrity and security. Large private companies are contributing to the data center to data center trend, given that corporations operating global businesses need access to high-capacity, low-latency networks capable of seamlessly connecting their data centers around the globe. Webscale companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have been investing in and building undersea cable networks to interconnect their geographically dispersed data centers. An estimated 99 percent of global data traffic flows over subsea networks making network transformation a major focus. With the advent of 5G there is even more pressure on cable network operators to evolve their infrastructure.


The end game of global backbone networks connecting directly to terrestrial data centers works well in concept, but success relies on first-time-right execution.



The gateway to direct data center connectivity is coherent optical technology. Coherent technology is one of the fundamental enablers of network evolution. Throughout the last decade, this technology has paved the way to a lower cost, lower power consumption and smaller from factor line side solution, significantly reducing the investment over legacy line cards. Network operators have attained efficiency gains by reducing the cost per bit and maximizing spectral efficiency by adopting coherent technology. Going forward, coherent technology will remain a key element supporting network transformation. Coherent technology is already widely deployed throughout most network operators’ submarine, backbone, 5G, data center interconnect (DCI), and metro networks. Pluggable coherent transceivers will enable expanding the use of coherent technology in access networks for higher capacity edge connect requirements. How they are used will depend on network topology, traffic capacity, and reach requirements as in submarine networks. Cable network operators are striving to efficiently scale their networks to meet exponential bandwidth growth and support evolving services. Data center operators are also scaling up to meet bandwidth demands and cope with the massive amount of interconnection among data centers today. Latest advancements in pluggable optics have increased automation and reduced cost to create a flexible, programmable hardware layer. Coherent pluggables can help support the higher speeds and capabilities delivered on subsea networks, with increased reliability.


High-speed pluggables are available in a wide variety of formats and specifications, dependent on the technology selected, design, and line rates needed (from 10M to 400 Gbps). Coherent pluggables like the ZR/ZR+ and CFP2-DCO will support multiple Ethernet rates from 100 to 400 Gbps. When looking at the DCI applications, the primary target form factors are QSFP-DD and OSFP for optimal port density and cost-effective implementations. The CFP2-DCO, due to its larger size and higher power envelope, will also enable improved transmission reach and is therefore more likely to be used in metro-regional and submarine applications. As transceiver manufacturers introduce smaller, faster, less power-consuming solutions – including features to support OPEN systems – it becomes more and more challenging to accommodate this combination of technologies on a single unit. Flexibility to accommodate multiple interfaces is required. For a full review of options, a joint Ciena and EXFO webinar is available at: https://bit. ly/34ZYB58


Given the complex nature of these new coherent devices aiming to ensure error-free transmission and fulfill stringent Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements, the right testing methods and tools will play an essential role. It will be more important than ever to test properly, given that these devices support multiple configurations and various client rates. Proper testing will be paramount to ensure the functionality of the device. Transceivers must also be quickly, easily, and accurately validated before service activation and commissioning to meet the ‘first time right’ goal. As coherent pluggables will be deployed alongside

various other client interfaces in the network, operators need to be able to test a mixed combination of interfaces. It is therefore important to consider test equipment with the necessary flexibility and scalability to adapt in a rapidly evolving environment – while accommodating the needs of network operators. An example is EXFO’s Open Transceiver System (OTS) which enables the same test solution to work with multiple current and future pluggable interfaces without requiring expensive hardware upgrades. The OTS is an innovative modular design concept that enables compatibility between current or future high-speed transceivers. The ability to test specific transceiver types, including those used in 400GE, NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


FEATURE such as QSFP-DD, OSFP, and CFP8, eliminates the need to replace entire testing modules and can be interchanged directly in the lab, in the field, or on the production floor.


Network operators must also bear in mind that the biggest source of issues in fiber networks is defects or contamination in fiber connectors. Eighty percent of network owners participating in an EXFO survey report having connector issues. And of course, testing the fiber itself to ensure cleanliness and viability are key to direct data center connection, as with any network. High-speed connectivity that relies on a solid network infrastructure requires broad expertise and a wide range of tests to qualify the state of the fiber link, perform fiber characterization and assess the integrity of data transmission over long-haul and ultra-long-haul networks -- as is the case with cable testing in submarine networks. And, when it comes to high-speed, transoceanic transmission, ensuring the quality of the fiber link is a must. EXFO’s submarine network test capabilities span network components and fiber testing throughout all the transmission network stages. Once the basic parameters (including insertion loss (IL), optical return loss (ORL), etc.) are confirmed, the next step is to qualify the fiber to ensure that it is fit to transport actual traffic. This is when polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) and chromatic dispersion (CD) testing are required. Dispersion causes light pulses to broaden when traveling within the fiber, up to a point where the bit error rate increases. While dispersion can be compensated by coherent detectors, this compensation, in case of PMD, can fail for various reasons such as fast State of Polarization (SOP) changes or a sudden SOP jump. Therefore, identifying and knowing in advance where the issue lies and correcting it is key to reducing outage probability. On the client and line sides, one of the testing challenges is the long duration bit error rate test (BERT). To maximize the success of the BERT, operators can leverage the OSNR (Optical Signal to Noise Ratio) test, done with an OSA (Optical Spectrum Analyzer), as a predictor of BER. The higher the OSNR, the better the link is which means a healthy BER. Basically, OSNR and BER are both correlated to the quality of the signal. Performing an OSNR test that takes a few minutes can provide a high confidence level in the results of the BER testing which can take hours and even days to complete.




As noted above, the CFP2-DCO and the ZR are the latest design in coherent pluggable transceivers. Both of these transceiver types will coexist in the network, and network operators must be capable of validating each – while keeping in mind that next-generation form factors will continue to evolve. This is where EXFO’s Open Transceiver System (OTS) brings a key advantage by allowing the end user to interchange the different interfaces, such as QSFP-DD, OSFP, CFP2, etc. in the same test equipment. This eliminates the need to purchase multiple test equipment for each interface and testing data rates. There will also be diverse technologies that are supported by these coherent pluggables including traditional Ethernet traffic or OTN. Validation of these technologies with advanced rates will be a critical element in connecting data centers across subsea networks. It will also be critical to measure the quality of service (QoS) using Ethernet traffic or OTN on each side of the transmission to ensure optimum performance is being achieved. Ultimately the rise in importance of data centers as access points for subsea networks will continue given anticipated incremental demand for automation-based services. The adoption of 5G networking enabling ultra-HD, gaming, e-commerce, webscale services, and more will continue to drive the need for subsea networks to deliver on redundancy, capacity, reach, latency, and availability. With coherent optics and especially pluggable coherent transceivers tested properly for first-time-right deployments, the promise of reliable connectivity via transformed networks can be delivered. STF JEAN-MARIE VILAIN is Telecom and Datacom High speed product manager, Transport and Datacom Business Unit at EXFO. He brings to EXFO more than twenty years of extensive experience in optical transport networks, signal integrity testing and protocol network testing. His past experience also led him to work with major telecom accounts in Americas, EMEA and Asia, and to develop a deep expertise in technical marketing, competitive analysis and sales strategy. Jean-Marie Vilain holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from École de technologie supérieure de Montréal. HICHAM MAALOUF is Senior Product Line Manager at EXFO and has been with the company since 2009. He began the telecommunications component of his career as a Developer Support Specialist at Eicon Technologies, which was once a leader in the data communication industry. He then applied his experience to the operational side as a Capacity Performance Network Analyst at Mouvement Desjardins, one of Quebec’s largest financial institutions. Hicham has also worked in the optical communication field in Product Line Management and Sales Support at ITF Optical Technologies, in network service assurance at Tektronix, and in molecular imaging at ART Advanced Research and Technologies. Hicham brings to the company extensive and wide-ranging experience that spans across EXFO’s multiple divisions and business units. Hicham holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Université Laval in Quebec City.

9001:2015 andmanagement ISO 27001:2013 designer and ISOISO 9001:2015 accredited systemcertified and ISO 27001:2013 InfoSec program for the implementation of submarine fiber cable systems for commercial, implementer of submarine fiber cable systems for commercial, governmental andgovernmental oil & gas companies/President’ Award for Exports recipient and oil & gass “E” companies. NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115





s we explained in the September Issue, in the early months of 1862 Cyrus Field met with British Government officials in an attempt to obtain funding, or at least guarantees, for the laying of a new Atlantic cable. At the same time, he wrote to Sir Peter George FitzGerald (1808-80), 1st baronet and 19th Knight of Kerry, asking if he could use his Government contacts to advance the project. FitzGerald had promoted Valentia as the Irish landing site for the 1857 and 1858 cables, and he was anxious to maintain this position for a new cable. He was, of course, successful in this. In the Knight of Kerry’s scrapbook of the Atlantic cable, now held at the IET Archives in London, is a letter to him from Bewicke Berry, manager of the Knight’s slate works at Valentia. Berry was in London in 1862 at the same time as Cyrus Field, and had met him at breakfast on 25 February, shortly before Field’s meeting with Earl Russell on 4 March, that we described in Part 2. In his letter, Berry gave the Knight this important information: ‘Field’s proposal, which however he has not yet made to the Government and wishes to be kept quiet at present, is that each of the three Gov(ernmen)ts of England, France and America should give an unconditional guarantee of one per cent for 30 years on the estimated outlay of £700,000.’ As we have seen, neither Field nor



Cyrus Field (with chart) and Sir Peter FitzGerald (with cane) selecting the landing point for the 1865 cable at Valentia

Stuart-Wortley had any success with the British Government, all their proposals being rejected. The next step was to try and persuade France to invest in the project, and the Atlantic Telegraph company took this in hand. One of the company’s directors was John Watkins Brett (1805-63), and Stuart-Wortley must have consulted him about approaching the French Government, as the next letter in the collection is dated 9 July 1862 and is from Brett to Stuart-Wortley. Brett, with his younger brother Jacob (1808-97), was the founder of the Submarine Telegraph Co, which installed the first successful submarine cable to France in 1851 and was by then operating cables to Belgium

(1853), Germany (1858) and Denmark (1859). On 12 April 1859, this company had entered into a monopoly agreement with the British & Irish Magnetic Telegraph Co, chaired by John Pender, and Brett had joined the Board of the Magnetic. Brett’s interest in an Atlantic Telegraph went back as far as 16 June 1845, when he and his brother had registered the General Ocean Telegraphic Co. He was Cyrus Field’s first contact in Britain, and the only British director of the New York, Newfoundland & London Telegraph Company. With Field and Charles Tilston Bright he was the founder of the Atlantic Telegraph Co and was still a director. Because of his pioneer-

1854,when Gisborne was ing role in this emerging introduced to Cyrus Field communications business, by Field’s brother Matthew, Brett had been dubbed by Brett’s name came up in The Times ‘The Father of conversation and he was the Submarine Telegraphy’. first man that Field sought out Unfortunately, it was Brett when he first came to England who had introduced Wildlater that year. man Whitehouse to the Brett then stated that, in his Atlantic Telegraph Co, and opinion, the southern route Whitehouse had become represented separate interests the scapegoat for the 1858 and it should not be regarded cable failure. Brett was also as a competing line. However, in trouble with his attempts he explained: to lay a cable across the John Watkins Brett (1805-863) and Jacob Brett (1808-97) ‘The Emperor may attach Mediterranean from France greater importance to a line via Spain also about this time (now Charge to Algeria via Sardinia, through La or Portugal which should touch their d’affaire or United States Minister at Société du télégraphe électrique sousfavoured possession in Africa (Senegal) marin de la Méditerranée, pour la cor- Spain) then resident in Spain forand connect the great commercial points respondance avec l’Algérie et les Indes. mally proposed through Mr Dallas on the South Atlantic via France, to a American Minister in London, to act Due to this, Brett’s previously unasline via England to France, should you on my behalf in furtherance of this sailable reputation had become much on your interview find this to be the case, object, with the Spanish Government reduced. For more information about I will now state a point, on which I have to obtain a concession for the SpanJohn Watkins Brett, see Back Refleclong felt perfectly confident in my own ish possessions in the South Atlantic tions in Issue 73, November 2013. mind. After many years of careful reflecincluding Cuba, which fact can if Brett’s letter concerned his comtion and study, and which if you will necessary be proved by the original munication with the French Govtrust one you might venture to assure His documents in my possession. ernment in 1858. In 1853, Brett had Majesty might be obtained.’ I may now state why I have commenced negotiations with the To this letter Brett attached a copy left this project in abeyance, and not Brazilian Government about a South of a memorandum in French, dated acted upon it of late years.’ Atlantic cable, but in 1857 he had 19 February 1858 and addressed to Brett took the trouble to explain to heard that the French were in negotiaMonsieur le Directeur tions with the Portuguese Government Stuart-Wortley his role de l’Administration des in initiating the Atlantic for a cable to the USA via the Azores, lignes télégraphiques, au Telegraph, and described and he explained the reason for his Ministère du l’Intérieur. how in 1853 Frederic correspondence with them as follows: It was signed by Brett and Newton Gisborne (1824‘Having done this to secure my James Robert Carmichael 92) had come to London claim as the originator of this line, & (1817-83), 2nd Baronet. to seek his assistance for which I had many years previous This letter and memowith his Newfoundland opened favourable negotiations with randum are part of the project. Although Brett the Emperor of the Brazils, & more document collection. had declined to invest in recently with Captain Rasloff, (now It is clear that Brett’s Danish Minister to the United States) this venture, he continletter was intended to ued to correspond with on the part of the Danish Govm DoFrederick Newton Gisborne assist Stuart-Wortley in minions in the West Indies). Mr Perry Gisborne, so in early (1842-92) NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115



seeking an interview with the French Emperor, and while Brett was being helpful, judging by the tone of the letter he was also taking the opportunity to show his extensive network of influential contacts and his previous leading work in the field, to try and rebuild his reputation with the new Chairman of the Atlantic Telegraph Co. Despite his physical incapacity, in July 1862 Stuart-Wortley travelled to Vichy in France with George Saward, arriving on 14 July. From his hotel he wrote to Monsieur le General Fleury, Aide de Camp to the Emperor, requesting his assistance in obtaining an audience with the Emperor. To this communication he attached a letter of introduction to the General, given to him by Jean-Gilbert Victor Failan (1808-72), Duc de Persignay, the Minister of the Interior, the man with whom Brett had corresponded in 1858. This letter had been obtained from a meeting that Saward and Stuart-Wortley had with him in Paris, on their way to Vichy. In addition, there was a private letter addressed to the Emperor from William Alexander Archibald Hamilton (1811-63), 11th Duke of Hamilton. It had been given to Stuart-Wortley by Britain’s Chargé d’affaires in Paris on the instruction of the Ambassador, Henry Richard Charles Wellesley (1804-84), 1st Earl Cowley, the nephew of the Duke of Wellington. Finally, he attached a set of printed notes on his recent interview with the Prime Minster, Lord Palmerston. An audience was finally agreed upon for one o’clock on 16 July, and Stuart-Wortley and George Saward proceeded to the Imperial summer villa, armed with the Committee of



Charles Louis Bonaparte (1808-73)

Inquiry report and other important documents relating to recent negotiations between the two Governments. Saward remained downstairs with the Emperor’s Aide–de-Camp, General Boville, while Stuart-Wortley was ushered into the presence of Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (1808-73), Napoleon III. The Emperor greeted Stuart-Wortley in English, and the interview, lasting some 30 minutes, was conducted in a mix of English and French. After the meeting Stuart-Wortley compiled a detailed handwritten summary of events, and this forms part of the document collection. ‘His Majesty then asked me what was the particular subject on which I had come to speak to him, & after I had explained my position as Chairman of the Atlantic Co, & said that I had come in the hope of obtaining the concurrence of His Majesty with the Government of G’ Britain & the United States in encouraging our endeavours to lay a new cable by granting us a guarantee or subvention for carrying the messages of the Government

of France. I then described the present situation of our Co with the Governments mentioned, & the efforts we had made to obtain further substantial assistance first in the shape of an unconditional guarantee, & secondly of an increased subvention from our own Government and explained how we had failed of success, & upon what principle their refusal was grounded in the last letter addressed to me by Mr Gladstone, and by Lord Palmerston in the interim of which I had sent a report to General Fleury.’ They then discussed France’s recent negotiations with other Governments concerning a South Atlantic Cable via the Azores. The Emperor confirmed that an investigation of such a scheme had been undertaken on his orders and had been approved by the Council of State, but said he did not know the current state of negotiations or the amount and nature of any subvention or guarantees, although this would be known in the Departments of the Interior or Telegraphs. Stuart-Wortley mentioned the name of M. Balantini as the man leading this South Atlantic proposal and the Emperor confirmed that this was correct. Stuart-Wortley then went on to explain to Napoleon that the British Government was extremely unlikely to support the proposal that the French Government had put to them, as they had recently, in line with William Gladstone’s advice, adopted a position of non-interference in submarine cable projects. He then went on to explain the funding proposal for his own project and indicated that they would be ready to lay their cable in the summer of 1863. This was followed by a summary of

the improvements in cables and cable laying since the 1858 cable. He finished by proposing that France should join with England and the United States in giving the Atlantic Telegraph Co a subvention and guarantee in consideration of them carrying her messages. However, he indicated that he was concerned that France may already have made some commitment to this southern scheme. If the Emperor was so committed, then perhaps an arrangement might be made between the two comQueen Victoria’s Message to President James Buchanan panies, such as an international undertaking between retreat on the Isle of Wight, which still the countries of the Americas and has today a small collection of teleWestern Europe through which a graph cable memorabilia, sent by the fund of some £2,000,000 could be Atlantic Telegraph Co to the Queen. assembled, enabling them to lay both Among other communications was a North and South Atlantic cable. The Emperor concurred that this idea had a letter from Major General Yorke (1790-1880) to Captain Augustus Termerit and commented as follows: rick Hamilton (1818-80), a director ‘It must be important to all the naof the Atlantic Telegraph Co, dated 9 tions’ and ‘There were messages sent by August 1859, which stated: your cable I believe, & a correspondence ‘With reference to my letter of the 8th between the Queen & the President.’ ultimo in answer to your enquiry as to This gave Stuart-Wortley the opany messages having ever been transportunity to show the Emperor the mitted to Newfoundland by the Atlantic exchange of telegrams between Queen Telegraph during the time it was in Victoria and President James Buchanoperation last year. I am directed by the an Jnr. (1791-1868). Stuart-Wortley General Commanding in Chief to achad obtained a copy of the original message, which had been sent from the quaint you that replies have been received from the General Officers Commanding Queen to George Saward in Valentia. the Troops in Canada and Nova Scotia to This message is part of the document the effect that a Telegram dated London collection; it is written on Osborne England, 31st August 1858 respectHouse embossed note paper and in an ing the 39th Regiment, was received Osborne House embossed envelope. at Montreal on the 3rd September and Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s

answered on the following day and that a Telegram of the same date respecting the 62nd Regiment was received at Halifax on the day of its transmission.’ The telegram referred to in this letter saved the British Government an estimated £50,000 by countermanding an earlier order to repatriate the 62nd Regiment. If sent by ship, this new order would have arrived too late. The meeting ended with the Emperor agreeing that Stuart-Wortley should put his proposals in writing and present them to Henri Michon de Vougy (1807-91), France’s Director of Telegraph Lines. The Emperor indicated that de Vougy was currently in Néris-les-Bains, near Montluçon, and Stuart-Wortley advised him that he would seek out the Director on his journey back to England. The next day, 17 July 1862, Stuart-Wortley and George Saward arrived at Néris in time for a late breakfast, following which Stuart-Wortley composed a brief message to de Vougy which Saward hand-delivered, together with the letters of introduction. Saward returned to their hotel soon afterwards, with an invitation to an immediate conference, and the two then went to the Director’s lodgings, Saward taking with him a copy of the Report of the Board of Trade Committee, known as the ‘Blue Book’, due to the colour of its covers. After the meeting, Stuart-Wortley again wrote a Memorandum of the proceedings in twelve pages of notes. This document is also in the collection, and the NOVEMBER 2020 | ISSUE 115


BACK REFLECTION following is a brief summary. De Vougy was somewhat confrontational at first, perhaps annoyed by being disturbed at his country retreat. Stuart-Wortley records in his notes that: ‘M. D. V. asked us in rather a brusque tone “what we had to propose?”’ and speaking in French, he then presented to de Vougy much of the same information that he had given the Emperor the previous day. His account continues: ‘M. De V then burst in rather uncourteously by saying that we had failed in laying our cable & asking for what reason France should give a subvention to our Company under such circumstances? I answered “Because we understand the Emperor to be very anxious to get a Telegraphic communication with America, & while we are confident of being able to lay a new Cable with better success if we are encouraged to the task, we believe that we can by our line afford that communication to the Emperor sooner & at a cheaper rate than he could obtain it by any other line or means’. ‘M. de V said “that is all very well – c’est bien – but that the Emperor had given his sanction to a very different undertaking. I then said that I was quite aware of that & that it was the communication made by His Majesty to the English Government on the subject of an Atlantic line of Telegraph by the South, that was the occasion of my mission.’ An extensive discussion of this Southern route followed, with de Vougy, having seen that Stuart-Wortley knew the details of this French proposal, told him that it was: ‘not a proposal for an Atlantic Telegraph at all’, but rather ‘an international line beginning from Bayonne & going



George Saward (1821-73)

through Spain & Portugal, to Morocco, & from there down the coast of Africa, to the French Portuguese & English settlements on that coast & then to the Cape de Verde Islands, the Azores & other Islands belonging to different nations & eventually with the West Indies & through British Territory in that quarter.’ He then stated that England had only been asked to permit the line to pass through her territory. De Vougy then asked why France should offer a subvention or guarantee to Stuart-Wortley’s proposed Northern line, to which he replied in part: ‘Simply because it will afford to France the communication with the Continent of America, &, by means of the land lines already in work or in course of construction, with California the Isthmus of Panama & Mexico, & because we believe it to be the cheapest if not the only practicable line, better explored & less hazardous than any line to the south.’ De Vougy was somewhat appeased

when told that no rivalry with any French company was involved and asked why they had any better hopes of success than in the former attempt [of 1858]. Stuart-Wortley then played his best card, the extensive list of working cables already installed by Glass, Elliot. He explained that: ‘After alluding to the causes of the former failure & running over some of the leading circumstances of the recklessness of those then employed I relied of course on the advancement of Telegraphic science, the improvement of Instruments, the experience gained in laying other lines & the table of Messrs Glass & Elliotts’ lines at present working in perfect order, & especially that of Toulon & Algiers. I then stated how strongly relied on Messrs Glass & Elliott’s tender & the confidence in success which it carried; at first M. D V seemed disposed to put that aside...’ ‘However when I handed him Glass & Elliott’s Tender & it was translated to him by his Secretary (who was present nearly all the time) M. de Lavenelle & myself, & when he realized that they not only proposed to take all their profits in shares, but to be received in monthly instalments & to be paid only month by month till the line had been working for 12 months, his tone changed a good deal & his seemed Henri Michon de Vougy (180 much impressed.’ 77-91)

Stuart-Wortley then laid out his projects, presenting a number of possible ways in which France might work with him. First he proposed that France might lay a line to Ireland, which would then enable it to send traffic over the cable to Newfoundland and then to the USA, but then suggested that if the Emperor still preferred a Southern line, then the Western Governments of Europe, and perhaps even Russia, might unite to give guarantees to the Atlantic Telegraph Co that would enable them to raise a capital of £2,000,000 on the London and Paris Exchanges to lay the Newfoundland line, and afterwards continue with more lines to the South. Having won over de Vougy, Stuart-Wortley closed his memorandum with his conclusions on the meeting: ‘To neither of these schemes did he express any strong objection, but by the second on the contrary seemed to me, as the Emperor had been, to be a good deal attracted. ‘The interview ended by his civilly expressing his readiness to receive me if I called at his office in Paris where he was returning the next week, & in the arrangement that we should in the mean time put our proposals in writing addressed to his Department & that he undertook to consider them & send me an official answer to London.’ In a marginal note, Stuart-Wortley added: ‘M. De Vougy towards the close of the interview distinctly gave his adherence to the principle of a fusion of interests and added to it his opinion in favour of the desirability of a guarantee by both nations to render the Cable inviolable even

in times of War.’ This statement appears to be the first recorded mention of a proposed neutrality of cables in wartime, which was not formally documented until the international Convention for the Protection of Submarine Telegraph Cables at Paris in March 1884, and even then, incorporated many exceptions for the belligerent nations. Stuart-Wortley and Saward must have returned to England feeling confident that they had made some real progress with the French Government. However, it should be noted that neither project progressed any further, and France was to have no involvement in the eventual Atlantic cables of 1865/66. A five-month gap then appears in the collection, which may have signalled another lapse in Stuart-Wortley’s health, so in the January issue we will pick up the story in December 1862. STF BILL BURNS is an English electronics engineer who worked for the BBC in London after graduation before moving to New York in 1971. There he spent a number of years in the high-end audio industry, during which time he wrote many audio, video, and computer equipment reviews, along with magazine articles on subjects as diverse as electronic music instruments and the history of computing. His research for these articles led to a general interest in early technology, and in the 1980s he began collecting instruments and artifacts from the fields of electricity and communications. In 1994 a chance find of a section of the 1857 Atlantic cable inspired a special interest in undersea cable history, and soon after he set up the first version of the Atlantic Cable website <https://atlantic-cable. com>, which now has over a thousand pages on all aspect of undersea communications from 1850 until the present. Bill’s interest in cable history has taken him to all of the surviving telegraph cable stations around the world, and to archives and museums in North America and Europe. He has presented papers on

subsea cable history at a number of conferences, and in 2008 he instigated and helped organize the 150th Anniversary Celebration for the 1858 Atlantic cable at the New-York Historical Society. Most recently, in 2016 he was involved with the celebrations in London, Ireland and Newfoundland to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1866 Atlantic cable. Since graduating in 1970, STEWART ASH has spent his entire career in the submarine cable industry. He joined STC Submarine Systems as a development engineer, working on coaxial transmission equipment and submarine repeater design. He then transferred onto f ield engineering, installing coaxial submarine cable systems around the world, attaining the role of Shipboard Installation Manager. In 1986, he set up a new installation division to install f ibre optic submarine systems. In 1993, he joined Cable & Wireless Marine, as a business development manager and then move to an account director role responsible for, among others the parent company, C&W. When Cable & Wireless Marine became Global Marine Systems Ltd in 1999, he became General Manager of the engineering division, responsible for system testing, jointing technology and ROV operation. As part of this role he was chairman of the UJ Consortium. He left Global Marine in 2005 to become an independent consultant, assisting system purchasers and owners in all aspects of system procurement, operations, maintenance and repair. Stewart’s interest in the history of submarine cables began in 2000, when he project managed a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the submarine cable industry. As part of this project he co-authored and edited From Elektron to ‘e’ Commerce. Since then he has written and lectured extensively on the history of the submarine cable industry. From March 2009 to November 2015 he wrote Back Reflection articles for SubTel Forum. In 2013 he was invited to contribute the opening chapter to Submarine Cables: The Handbook of Law and Policy, which covered the early development of the submarine cable industry. To support the campaign to save Enderby House—a Grade II listed building—from demolition, in 2015 he wrote two books about the history of the Telcon site at Enderby Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula in London. The f irst was The Story of Subsea Telecommunications and its Association with Enderby House, and the second was The Eponymous Enderby’s of Greenwich. His biography of Sir John Pender GCMG The Cable King was published by Amazon in April 2018.




Henri Michon de Vougy (18077-91)


Since our first issue in November 2001 more than 550 subject matter experts from around the world have provided timely insight into the health and ever-changing technology of our very special submarine cable industry. SubTel Forum’s vision has always been to be the “Voice of the Industry” and with their help we have done so. Thanks to all the Authors who have contributed to SubTel Forum over the last 19 years! Abhijit Chitambar Abiodun Jagun Ph.D. Adam Hotchkiss Adam Kelly Adam Sharp Aislinn Klos Alain Peuch Alan Mauldin Alan Mccurdy Alan Robinson Alasdair Wilkie Alex Vaxmonsky Alexis DiGabriele Alexis Pilipetskii Alfred Richardson Alice Amiri Alice Leonard de Juvigny Alice Shelton Allan Green Amanda Prudden Amber Case Amy Marks Anders Ljung Anders Tysdal Andrea Rodriguez Andres Figoli Pacheco Andrew D. Lipman Andrew Oon Andrew Ray Andrew Rush Andrew Evans Andrew Lipman Andrew Ljung Andrew Lloyd Andrzej Borowiec Andy Bax Andy Cole Andy Lumsden Andy Palmer-Felgate Andy Riga Andy Shaw Anne LeBoutillier


Antoine Lécroart António Nunes Anup Changaroth Arnaud Leroy Arunachalam Kandasamy Ashutosh Bhargava Barbara Dean Ph.D. Basil Demeroutis Benoit Kowalski Bernard Logan Bertrand Clesca Bill Barney Bill Burns Bill Carter Bill Glover Bill Kolb Bob Fredrickson Bran Herlihy Brett Ferenchak Brett O’Riley Brett Worrall Brian Crawford Brian Lavallée Bruce Neilson-Watts Bruce Rein Byron Clatterbuck Captain Nick Parker Caroline Elliott Cate Stubbings Catherine Creese Catherine Dixon Catherine Kuersten Charles Laperle Charles Foreman Charlotte Winter Chris Barnes Chris Bayly Chris Butler Chris de Josselin Chris Ellis Chris Wood Christian Annoque


Christian Keogh Christian von der Ropp Christine Cabau Woehrel Christopher Noyes Christopher Wood Chuck Kaplan Cliff Scapellati Clifford Holliday Clive McNamara Colin Anderson Craig Donovan Dag Aanensen Daishi Masuda Dallas Meggitt Dan Parsons Daniel Carragher Daniel Hughes Daniel Perera Daniel Wiser Daryl Chaires David Cassidy David Coughlan David Lassner David Latin David Lipp David Liu Jianmin David Martin David Mazzzarese David Miller David Robles David Walters David Warnes Dean Veverka Debra Brask Denise Toombs Denise Wood Derek Cassidy Derek Greenham Derek Webster Devin Sappington Dmitri Foursa Donald Hussong

Doug Madory Doug Ranahan Doug Stroud Douglas Burnett Edward Saade Edwin Danson Edwin Muth Elaine Stafford Emma Martin Emmanual Delanoque Emmanual Desurvire Eric Handa Erick Contag Erlend Anderson Eyal Lichtman Fan Xiaoyan Fiona Beck Francis Audet Francis Charpentier Frank Cuccio Frank DiMaria Frank Donaghy Ph.D. Funke Opeke Gabriel Ruhan Gareth Parry Gary Gibbs Gavin Rea Gavin Tully Genius Wong Geoff Ball Geoff Bennett Geoffrey Thornton Georg Mohs George H Baker George Krebs George M Foote George Miller George Samisoni George Tronsrue Lii Georges Krebs Gerald Soloway Glenn Gerstell

Glenn Wellbrock Gordon Duzevich Graham White Graham Cooper Graham Evans Greg Berlocher Greg Kunkle Greg Otto Greg Stoner Greg Twitt Gregor McPherson Guillaume Huchet Gunnar Berthelsen Guy Arnos Hans Christian Nilsen Harold Bock Hector Hernandez Heiner Ottersberg Helen Veverka Henry Lancaster Henry Lancaster Herve Fevrier Ph.D. Himmat Singh Sandhu Horst Etzkorn Houlin Zhao Howard Kidorf Hubert Souise Hugh Thomson Hunter Newby Ian Davis Ian Douglas Ian Fletcher Ian Gaitch Ian Watson Igor Czajkowski Ilissa Miller Inge Vintermyr International SOS Ioannia Konstantinidis Iris Hong Jack Richards Jack Runfola

James Barton James Case James Cowie James Halliday James Herron James Neville Jan Kristoffer Brenne Jas Dhooper Jaynie Cutaia Jean Devos Jean-Francois Baget Jean-Marie Fontaine Jed Duvall Jeff Gardner Ph.D. Jeffrey Hill Jeffrey Hoel Jeffrey Snider Jennifer Gibbons Jeremiah Mendez Jerry Brown Ph.D. Jim Bishop Jim Byous Jim Lemberg Jing Ning Jiping Wen Joe Capasso Joel Ogren Joel Whitman Joerg Schwartz Ph.D. John Golding John Hibbard John Hill John Horne John Kasden John Manock John Melick John Pockett John Tibbles John Walker John Weisbruch Jon Seip Jonathan Liss Jordan Kearns Jorn Jespersen Jorn Wardeburg Jose Andres Ph.D. José Chesnoy Jose Duarte Joshua Henson Judi Clark Jukka-Pekka Joensuu Jules BenBenek Julian Rawle Kaori Shikinaka

KarenBoman Karl Jeffery Katherine Edwards Katsuyoshi Kawaguchi Keith Russel Shaw Keith Schofield Ken du Vall Ken Weiner Kent Bressie Kevin Summers Kieran Clark Kjetil Korslund Kristian Nielsen Kristian Ohleth Kurt Ruderman Kylie Wansink Lara Garrett Larry Schwartz Laure Duvernay Laurie Miller Leigh Frame Leo Foulger Liam Talbot Linda Evans Lindsay McDonald Ling Zhao Lionel Carter Lucia Bibolini Lynsey Thomas Madeleine Findley Mai Abou-Shaban Marc Fullenbaum Marc-Richard Fortin Maria Garcia Alvarez Marianne Murfett Mark Davidson Mark Enright Mark Hukill Mark Wickham Marsha Spalding Martin Foster Mattais Fridström Matthew Milstead Mattias Fridström Maui Sanford Maxim Bolshitysnsky Meredith Cleveland Merrion Edwards Ph.D. Michael Reimer Michael Craigs Michael Jones Michaël Marie Michael Nedbal Ph.D. Michael Ruddy

Michael Schneider Michael s Carter Michel Chbat Ph.D. Michel Martin Mick Greenham Mike Conradi Mike Daniel Mike Hynes Mike Last Mikinori Niino Mohamed Ahmed Mojeed Aluko Molilaauifogaa Seanoa-Lamua Morgan Heim Motoyashi Tokioka Muhammad Rashid Shafi Murray Eldridge Nancy Poirier Natasha Kahn Neal Bergano Neil Lambert Neil Tagare Nguyen Vu Nicholas Kazaz Nicole Starosielski Nigel Bayliff Nigel Shaw Nikos Nikolopoulos Ning Jing Norma Spruce Olav Harald Nordgard Olivier Courtois Olivier Plomteux Olivier Tremblay-Lavoie Omar Jassim Bin Kalban Pamela Barnett Panagiota Bosdogianni Pascal Pecci Patrick Faidherbe Paul Budde Paul Davidson Ph.D. Paul Deslandes Paul Eastaugh Paul Gabla Paul Gagnier Paul Grant Paul Hibbard Paul Kravis Paul McCann Paul Polishuk Ph.D. Paul Rudde Paul Savill Paul St. Clair

Paul Szajowski Paul Treglia Paula Dobbyn Per Handsen Per Ingeberg Pete LeHardy Peter Bannister Peter Evans Peter Ford Peter Lange Peter Liu Peter Phibbs Peter Worthington Phil Footnman-Williams Philip Roche Philippe Dumont Pierre Tremblay Priyanth Mehta Puja Borries Ragnhild Katteland Raj Mishra Rannveig Bergerød Aase Rannveig Li Raul Magallenes Ray Chrisner Ray Drabble Remi Galasso Renzo Ravaglia Rex Ramsden Rich Potter Richard Faint Richard Kram Richard Nickelson Richard Blann Richard Buchanan Richard Elliott Richard Romagnino Rita Rukosueva Rob Eastwood Rob Hudome Rob Munier Robert Bannon Robert Lingle Jr. Robert Mazer Robert McCabe Robert Mecarini Robert Stuart Robert Thomas Robin Russell Rogan Hollis Roger Carver Roland Lim Rolf Boe Ron Crean

Ross Buntrock Ross Pfeffer Rubayet Choudhury Russ Doig Rusty O’Connor Sally Sheedy Salon Ma Samir Seth Sammy Thomas Sandra Feldman Sarah Lockett Scott Foster Scott Griffith Scott McMullen Sean Bergin Serena Seng Sergei Makovejs Sergey Ten Seth Davis Shashank Krishna Sherry Sontag Shreya Gautam Siddhartha Raja Siew Ying Oak Simon Brodie Simon Frater Sir Christopher Bland Søren Arentsen Stan Kramer Stephane Delorme Stephanie Ingle Stephany Fan Stephen Dawe Stephen Dres Stephen Grubb Ph.D. Stephen Jarvis Stephen Lentz Stephen Nielsen Stephen Scott Stephen Wright Steve Arsenault Steve Briggs Steve Duthie Steve Grubb Ph.D. Steve Lentz Steve Misencik Steven Gringeri Steven Shamburek Steven Wells Stewart Ash Stuart Barnes Ph.D. Subtel Forum Research Team Sverre Myren Tayo Adelaja




Henri Michon de Vougy (18077-91)

Ted Clem Ph.D. Teijiro Kitamura Theresa Hyatte Thomas Popik Thomas Soja Tiejun Xia Tim Janaitis Tim Pugh Toby Bailey Todd Borkey Tom Davis

Tom McMahon Tom Stronge Tong Liu Tony Frisch Travis Kassay Troy Tanner Trygve Hagevik TSA Newsfeed Tsunekazu Matsudaira Ulises Pin Ulrik Stridbæk

Vegard Briggar Larsen Venkata Jasti Ph.D. Vicky Liang Vinay Nagpal Vinay Rathore Virginia Hoffman Vivian Hua Wang Jingwei Wang Ke Wang Yanpu Wayne Nielsen

Wesley Wright Wildred Kwan William Barattino Ph.D. William Harrington William Harris William Marra Ph.D. William Wall Winston Qiu Xiaoyan Fan Xu Yewei Yali Liu

Yiannis Koulias Yoani Sanchez Yoshio Utsumi Yuzhu Hou Yves Baribeau Yves Ruggeri Yvonne Lin Zatri Arbi Zhang Kai Zhao Ling Zhu Hongda


Thanks to all the sponsors that have contributed to SubTel Forum over the last 19 years.

A2Sea AIS Live Alcatel-Lucent Anritsu APAC APTelecom AquaComms Australia Japan Cable Axiom AZEA BJ Marketing Communications Boss Portal Cable & Wireless Caldwell Marine Ciena Columbus Networks Concept Experts Corning Cable Systems CTC Marine Projects CYTA Global Deltaic Systems Digital Energy Journal Digital Oilfields EGS e-Marine Entelec



Ericsson Esri euNetworks Exfo, Inc. FLAG Fugro General Offshore Global Marine Systems Ltd Global Netwave Globalinx Subsea Colocation GlobeNet Great Eastern Group Hengtong Marine Cable Systems Hexatronic Huawei Marine Networks ICPC IEEE Workshop IHC EB Inchcape Shipping Services Infinera Information Gatekeepers International Subsea & Telecoms Services International Telecom ISTS Kokusai Cable Ship Co., Ltd. KT Submarine LL Flex

Lloyds Register - Fairplay Makai MENA Submarine Cable System Mertech Marine Mobius Group NavaTel NEC Nexans Nortel Networks NSW OCC Offshore Communications Conference Offshore Site Investigation Conference OFS OilComm Optical Fiber Communications Optical Transmission Vision Pacific Telecommunications Council Parkburn PHS Pearce Services Point One Promet Prysmian Group PTC Academy S. B. Submarine Services Sifam Tinsley Smit-Oceaneering Cable Systems

Southern Cross Cable Network Spellman High Voltage STC STF Analytics STF Events Submarine Cable Forum Submarine Cable Society Submarine Communications Submarine Networks World SubOptic Association Subsea Communications Conference T Soja and Associates TE SubCom Telecom Egypt TeleGeography Terabit Consulting Thales TMS International Tyco Telecommunications Undersea Fiber Communication Systems Virginia Beach Economic Development WFN Strategies Xtera


play for offshore wind. Climate Change

While the telecom industry has been operating for quite some time and has made significant advances in our knowledge of benthic marine environments, climate change is one issue that we will have to face in conjunction with all offshore maritime industries and the wider world. The push for projects concerning environmental monitoring and communications is spreading throughout the industry, with a current focus on issues relating to marine megafauna and fisheries targets. Initiatives such as SMART cables and similar monitoring systems in offshore wind will go a long way towards narrowing existing knowledge gaps and ensuring that we have lengthy and reliable data records as our seas undergo this period of immense change. As mentioned previously, interdisciplinary initiatives such as ROSA will be integral in encouraging data sharing and data tracking as some common fisheries and conservation target species exhibit spatial and temporal distribution shifts. By working together, industry and local stakeholders can broaden our collective knowledge of how the oceans around us will be impacted by climate change related phenomena. As such, we can hope to mitigate issues to the best of our abilities and focus on nurturing sustainable growth of both telecom and offshore wind industries, keeping the world connected and providing reliable sources of clean, renewable wind energy. Similarly, collective knowledge on natural system faults, both for subsea cables and offshore wind infrastructure, will contribute to our understanding of how best to shift future engineering and operation innovations to cope with an increase in strength and frequency of inclement weather events and other climatic factors. Summary

those of public perceptions, will help to pave the way for community buy-in and long term success of these installations. In the past century and a half, humans have come to understand a significant amount about our oceans and how they function. Through the course of hundreds of subsea cable installations, the telecom industry has been at the forefront of uncovering benthic knowledge. Our understanding of seafloor hydrology, shifting sediments, ecological interactions, and even earthquakes and tsunamis has greatly increased. By taking what we have learned and applying it to the burgeoning offshore wind industry, we can best position ourselves to reap the rewards of an extensive renewables network while mitigating social, environmental, and ecological impacts. We have extensive local fisheries and communities networks, professional guard vessels and crews, broad knowledge of the marine environmental and applicable requirements and legislation, and, above all, we have a vision for long-term, sustainable success in harnessing our renewable natural resources for clean energy. To our partners in the offshore wind industry— we are ready and willing to help you reach your goals. Emma Martin is the Marine Systems Associate at Seagard. She has her BA in Biology from Boston University, USA and her MSc in Marine Systems and Policies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has performed marine field work around the world and looks forward to continuing to support maritime infrastructure developments.


Throughout both industries, a common theme is the importance of early and continued stakeholder engagement. “We stand by the idea that stakeholder engagement and outreach with other maritime users and operators is incredibly important,” Ryan Wopschall, ICPC GM states, “Raising awareness of subsea cables within the offshore renewable energy sector and encouraging developers and stakeholders to contact us in regard to new and ongoing projects will further facilitate safe and efficient use of marine resources and long-term protection of seabed infrastructure.” All marine users must be considered throughout project development, and these considerations, alongside











i2i Submarine Cable Maintenance Work Completed

Implementation of Nzadi Cable in Angola Commences

Bangladesh Internet Slow for Next 6 Days PLDT Completes Line Maintenance Ahead of Schedule


PLDT to Reduce Impact of Undersea Cable Upkeep

Telefonica Mulls $2.4 Billion Submarine Cable Sale


Catalonia to Construct Cable Landing Station Telstra Announces Plans for Expansion into Canada

PTC’21: New Realities Is All Online

LS Cable in Talks to Acquire KT Submarine

ICPC “Submarine Cable Protection and the Environment”

Seaborn Appoints Steve Orlando as CEO

CURRENT SYSTEMS Skagenfiber Submarine Cable Now in Service Vodafone NZ, Spark, Telstra Launch Tasman Fibre Cable

Guyana’s Telecoms Sector Formally Liberalised FCC Calls for New Scrutiny of Submarine Cables FCC Formalizing “Team Telecom” Process

Seaborn Deploys Infinera on AMX-1 Cable Segment


EAIF, Proparco Back WIOCC

Submarine Telecoms Industry Report Issue 9 – Now Available!



PCCW Brings Connectivity to NJFX Through New PoP

Ciena to Upgrade Indigo Submarine Cable

FUTURE SYSTEMS Telecom Egypt, St Helena Sign Cable Agreement Japan, US and Australia to Finance Palau Cable The Nzadi Consortium and WFN Strategies Announce Kickoff of Nzadi Cable Project Ellalink Partners With Equinix for Data Center Locations EAUFON Submarine Cable Contract Awarded to ASN Feds Will Invest $46.5m to Boost Internet in Coastal Alaska Cinia Announces New Partners for Arctic Connect Cable Galway Chosen As Landing Site for Undersea Fibre Cable Connecting Iceland With Europe









y name is Terri Jones, and I am the Sales Manager for SubTel Forum. A warm hello to all I already know, and a gracious invitation for all others to connect with me for opportunity updates. First, I’d like to personally thank all of our sponsors from 2020! Without your loyal support, this year would have been impossible to work through. 2020 has been hard on everyone, between the isolation of quarantines and the loss of many industry conferences, marketing is harder than it ever has been. Which is why, now, more than ever, is the time you reach out to your clients, future clients, vendors and peers to keep them updated on your strong brands. The submarine telecoms industry is strong, viable, and growing - however, our in-person outreach is limited. This is the year to spring into the next, take the virtual opportunities by the horns and propel your brand visibility in 2021 To that end, below is a brief recap of our publications for your 2021 planning. All include additional online promotion as part of benefits. Please, reach out to me for details.

WHAT WE HAVE COMING UP IN 2021 • Over 100K downloads per issue. Two months exposure. • Rates start as low at $1,750.

May: Global Capacity July: Regional Systems September: Offshore Energy November: Data Centers/New Technology

2021 Topics: January: Global Outlook March: Finance & Legal

Sponsorship Benefits: • Complimentary tile web banner (visible on SubTel news feed)




• 30 second promotional video (FullPage and Two-Page Spread only) • Social media acknowledgment (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter) • Acknowledgment in announcement Press Release and mailer


• Over 525K downloads per issue.

Three months exposure. • Quarterly cost: $5,000 Sponsorship Benefits: • Exclusive sponsor of next issue • Logo and link on cover and acknowledgment on publication webpage • Single page ad (8.5 x 11) near front of document • 30 second promotional video • Complimentary tile web banner (visible on SubTel news feed) • Social media acknowledgment (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter) • Acknowledgment in announcement Press Release and mailer


If you haven’t had the chance, use this link to the Online Cable Map to explore our many layers. • Monthly rate: $1,500 • You can now add a 30 Second Promotional Video. • Do a talking head about your company or promote something specific. The sky’s the limit! Sponsorship Benefits: • One month sponsorship of the layer of your choice (details below) • Optional 30 second promotional Video • 50-75 word Company Description or Company Announcement • Logo/Link on your layer • Complimentary tile web banner (visible on SutTel news feed) • Social media acknowledgment (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter)

• Acknowledgment in announcement Press Release Sponsorship layer options/descriptions: • In-Service Cables – details of more than 250 cable systems, updated bi-weekly • Planned Cables – more than 50 cable systems, updated bi-weekly • Cableships – location and status of more than 45 cableships accomplishing both cable installation and repair activities, updated every 6 hours • Data Centers – more than 1,700 data centers; grouped by company owners, updated quarterly • Offshore Facilities – representing more than 40 offshore O&G facilities, both planned and in-service, updated bi-weekly And, last, but certainly not least:


Sponsorship Benefits: • Complimentary tile web banner (visible on SubTel news feed) • Social media acknowledgment (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter) • Acknowledgment in announcement Press Release and mailer I thank you for taking the time to review, and your consideration. Please reach out with any questions or suggestions. And, once again, a very special thanks to our current and future sponsors. Let’s keep our industry thriving! STF Stay safe.

• Yearly logo cost: $3,750

Terri Jones

This beautiful, large format print map showcases every major international submarine cable system, and we are proud to say, hangs in many offices in our industry. As we are gearing up for 2021 production, so, please let me know, ASAP, if you would like to include your logo on this highly visible venue.

Sales Manager, SubTel Forum TERRI JONES is Sales Manager for Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. For over 20 years, she was in the business of buying… media that is. Terri was managing million dollar buys with a variety of advertising agencies, such as Media Reactions and Time Life, buying time on radio and television for client advertising. She f irst joined SubTel Forum in 2018 to support sales of the SubOptic 2019 Conference in New Orleans , which was managed by STF Events. Since then, she has been responsible for sales in all of the SubTel Forum products and publications such as the Magazine, Submarine Cable Almanac, Cable Map and Industry Report.