The Subsea Industry Perspective

Carrying more than 95% of voice and data traffic around the world, submarine networks have become critical for supporting today’s global economy. In an increasingly connected world, a growing demand for low latency, greater capacity and more flexible networks is driving the industry.

In 2018, Total Telecom, a global publishing and event organisation, launched Submarine Networks Europe. With 350 attendees in its first year, the conference successfully established itself as Europe’s biggest subsea event. In recent years there has been an undeniable peak of activity in the European subsea cable market, however it is impossible to look at this region without also considering what is happening in the surrounding markets.

Almost weekly there are exciting industry developments with new projects getting underway and a lot of buzz about plans for new cables in the Baltics, the Arctic, Africa, the Middle East and from Asia into Europe. Because of this resurgence, it is vital for the entire region to have its own dedicated high-level meeting place. With this in mind, in 2019 Total Telecom is pleased to bring Submarine Networks EMEA to market, which will bring together 450+ industry leaders in the heart of the London’s communications market to discuss strategy and innovation in the submarine cable industry.

Running as a sister event to Submarine Networks World, the EMEA event is the perfect opportunity to continue the conversations that were started in Singapore and to develop existing and new partnerships. The conference will also provide delegates with the chance to learn more about exciting upcoming projects as well as the opportunities and challenges being faced in the region.

Whether you’re looking for new business opportunities or the chance to broaden your knowledge, there will be something for you at this conference.

As Total Telecom begins the final countdown to the Submarine Networks EMEA event in London this February, Editor Chris Kelly brings us up to date with all the latest news and developments from the subsea sector.

The past 12 months have seen a flurry of activity in the industry, with several high-profile projects coming to fruition in 2018 – particularly in the southern hemisphere.

The long-anticipated SAIL subsea cable system launched in September 2018, providing the first ever link between South America and Africa. The 6,000km cabling system will provide 100G transmission and a staggering 32Tbps of capacity, revolutionising cross-Atlantic connectivity in the southern hemisphere.

In addition to SAIL, 2018 saw a clutch of projects aimed at bringing connectivity to some of the most remote regions of the world. Mauritius (MARS) and Cape Verde (EllaLink) received the go ahead for projects that will revolutionise connectivity in the region.

Speaking with Eckhard Bruckschen, Managing Director & Editor at SubCableNews, about the issues that are defining the industry today, it is clear that 2018 has been an incredibly busy year for the subsea sector.

Bruckschen suggests that an emerging skills shortage in the subsea sector could hamper the industry’s ability to keep pace with insatiable demand for connectivity. As engineers move towards the client side of the business, contractors are being left with a big gap to fill, prompting Bruckschen to suggest that the subsea sector needs to embark on a global recruitment drive.

I’ve also been speaking with Gil Santaliz, CEO of New Jersey Fibre Exchange, who spoke about the importance of Carrier Neutral data centres in the global connectivity space. At this year’s Submarine Networks EMEA event in London, Santaliz will discuss the importance of building tier-3 facilities capable of linking multiple cable landing points. As Santaliz says: “One subsea cable is a good application, but multiple subsea cables between four continents is a game changer.”

Listening to Conrad Mallon, Chief Network Architect at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, I learned about the role that SDN and NFV solutions can play in revolutionising network designs. Mallon argues that all new network builds, whether subsea or terrestrial, should only be deployed with SDN ready infrastructure. “Without streamlined processes and robust templates for the deployment of services like SDN and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), no amount of technology will resolve the perennial telecoms challenge of GIGO (Garbage In – Garbage Out). Once the documentation of those processes and development of those configuration templates has been addressed É SDN can then become the reality that’s been predicted,” he said.

With a whole host of projects slated for launch in 2019, it promises to be another busy year ahead for the subsea networks industry. We are looking forward to bringing you all the news, as it happens, on and to welcoming you to the Submarine Networks EMEA event in February.