The Nordics Chic, Cool, Cheap

Published in Issue 4 | July 31, 2020


Eckhard Bruckschen
Managing Director/ Editor,
Subcablenews Ltd.

Anders Ljung
Business Manager,
Submarine Solutions,

Dag Aanensen
Chief Executive Officer,
Nordic Consulting

The three Cs are the basis of the recent development in the submarine cable industry in the Nordics—Chic, Cool and Cheap.

Why Chic? Because all major players (including OTTs) are locating data centres in the Nordics—it is “in fashion”. Why Cool? Data centres in the Nordics are using areas, which have in addition to the cooler climate a “natural” cooling effect—like old mines, former bunkers etc. The Nordics benefit from a cold climate and stable political conditions and a growing network of redundant fibre connectivity.

Why Cheap? Cheap power supply is available in the Nordics. 99% of Norway’s energy comes from hydropower at the lowest electricity prices in Europe. The Nordics have a strong renewable energy mix and the world’s most resilient electricity grid.

But there are even further Cs to name—Connectivity (international and national), Competent workforce (the Nordic countries have the highest proportions of ICT specialists in employment in Europe) and Continued harmonization of national rules and processes. All this is underpinning the steep development of the Nordic region in pursuit of becoming a global hub for data centre investments, attracting the build-out of domestic and international submarine cable infrastructure.

What countries constitute the Nordics? It consists of five countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as their autonomous regions (Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland). The market in the Nordics is dominated by unrepeatered cable systems with the occasional repeatered system. To really see what kind of submarine cable development is currently ongoing in the Nordics, we need to look at each country individually.