Telefonica (NYSE:TEF, news, filings) International Wholesale Services has announced the upgrade of its South America-1 (SAm-1) cable system to 100G technology via Infinera's new DTN-X platform. TIWS has been using Infinera gear in upgrading its submarine connectivity throughout the region, but this is the first case where they've gone for the new 500Gbps superchannels.
SAm-1 connects Florida with 14 landing points spread across Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It is one of Telefonica's main bandwidth arteries, as you can see from the images to the left of SAm-1 itself and TIWS's full network to the left. It clearly carries a lot of their bits.
One of the cases given for current 100G deployments by Level 3 was that of limited fiber. For undersea cable systems, making the most of a limited number of fiber pairs is part of the design itself. Hence I think this sort of upgrade is where we will see 100G take hold first, and I expect to see a steady stream of such upgrades powered by a variety of vendors in the Atlantic and Pacific as well.
Of course, in this case it's also a part of the world that is seeing a boom in proposed new cable systems in advance of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics -- each of which is also trying to play the 100G card. But existing cables upgraded to 100G technology will be in the game for a long time to come.
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