South America is the home of this year’s submarine cable protagonists, without any doubt. Today we learned of yet another giant cable aimed at bringing big bandwidth to the growing Latin American marketplace. SeaBorn Networks is planning a brand new cable system connecting Miami directly to the commercial center of Sao Paolo, with a branch to Fortaleza where so many other cables also land of course.
The new system, which will be called Seabras-1, will apparently have a total theoretical capacity of a whopping 32Tbps. If all goes well, it is expected to go into service sometime in 2014, just in time for all the fun. Brazil will be hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, both of which are expected to boost traffic levels that are already growing at tremendous rates.
Many other new cables are also in the works. Just last week we learned of an effort by Brazilian state-owned operator Telebras which would hook up not just North America, but also Africa and Europe. Then there is the WASACE effort, which has similar aims with a different configuration, and the South Atlantic Express too.
There seems to be one region every year or two that gets all the submarine cable love. For a while it was the Pacific, which saw multiple cables come online in succession. Then Africa got a series of cables down both its east and west coasts. Lately it has been the Middle East, with several big systems coming online recently. Now it’s South America’s turn, assuming these projects get all the way off the ground – which isn’t guaranteed of course.
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Of all the cables planned for South America, I have to say this one seems the most realistic to me.