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Demand for datacentre traffic driving submarine cable system investment

By , ITWeb
Africa , Egypt , 10 Jun 2021

TeleGeography, a global telecommunications market research and consulting firm, has launched its 2021 Submarine Cable Map, sponsored by Telecom Egypt.

According to the research company the map visualises 464 global cables and 1,245 landing stations, as well as major future deployments. It also analyses the changing dynamics in the market and influence of new players on submarine cable investments.

Having accounted for less than 10% prior to 2012, content providers’ share of total capacity surged to 66% in 2020. Unlike previous cable construction booms, content providers like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are taking a more active role in the submarine cable market.

TeleGeography says these companies alone have such incredible demand for datacentre traffic that they’re driving projects and route prioritisation for submarine cable systems. Google alone has more than 15 subsea cable investments globally.

“We’re excited to launch our latest Submarine Cable Map and would like to thank Telecom Egypt for supporting it this year. The 2021 map illustrates a market that’s experiencing more deployments, with new and diverse players. Over the last decade, we’ve seen content providers emerge as disruptors, ramping up investments to meet global demand for their services,” said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. “The submarine cable market has never been so dynamic and we’re thrilled to showcase our data and analysis on all things subsea cable.”

According to the map, there are over 1.3 million km of submarine cables spanning the globe, which would wrap around Earth more than 30 times end-to-end. Of the 464 cables displayed in this 2021 edition of this map, 428 are active and 36 are planned. Out of these planned cables, 19 are brand new to TeleGeography’s map, boasting a combined length 103,348 km.

New subsea cables have been deployed across every global route grouping, with more systems expected in the coming three years. The Intra-Asian route is expected to experience the most investment, with a projected US$1.6-billion in new cables to be launched.

Telecom Egypt cable investment

In March this year Telecom Egypt announced it was planning to launch the Hybrid African Ring Path (HARP), a subsea system that will ring Africa and connect its landlocked coasts with Europe by 2023.

The HARP system will leverage the telco’s existing terrestrial and subsea infrastructure to connect multiple points from Africa’s East, West and South to Europe’s Italy, France and Portugal.

It will also cross the Sinai Peninsula as well as the Suez Canal to form a hybrid terrestrial and subsea fibre connectivity solution for landing points within Egypt.

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