It looks like the transatlantic bandwidth markets will be getting another new cable system in a couple of years. A consortium that includes Aqua Comms, Bulk Infrastructure, and Facebook has tapped TE SubCom as supplier for the HAVFRUE cable system. HAVFRUE is the Danish word for ‘mermaid’, which is inevitably what it will be referred to affectionately in English since we aren’t quite sure how to pronounce (or spell) ‘havfrue’.
But more important are the details of the HAVFRUE cable system, which would become the fourth major new transatlantic system to land in this new buildout period after that long post-telecom-nuclear-winter drought. As designed, the primary landing points will be in New Jersey and Denmark, with branches to County Mayo, Ireland and Norway and passing to the north of the UK. It will provide a cross-sectional cable capacity of 108Tbps, with room for expansion as the electronics inevitably improve.
Aqua Comms will serve as the system operator and landing party in the US, Ireland, and Denmark. Bulk Infrastructure will be handling the Norwegian branches. Facebook, as big content player supplying the necessary motivation and financial backing, is ensuring that the infrastructure it needs going forward actually gets built.
As for Subcom, the supply contract has been signed and the route survey is underway. If everything goes according to plan, the system would be ready for service in Q4 of 2019 — less than two years from now.
I’ll be curious to see how the transatlantic piece of the route differs from that of AEConnect, Aqua Comms’ cable system which of course also connects to northwestern Ireland and New Jersey.
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