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Examining submarine cable systems: To get to the clouds, you have to start under the sea

As more services are moving to the cloud, the content demands on subsea cables continue to rise. To meet the cloud infrastructure demands, innovative subsea cable technologies, investments, and partnerships are emerging. In this piece, Mohamed Nasr, AVP Cable Development, EMEA, discusses how getting to the cloud still starts under the sea, and how PCCW Global remains at the forefront of the charge.

Social media and content giants (OTTs) naturally have high capacity demands. Because of these heavy capacity needs, they are playing more pivotal role in new cable builds. OTTs are now investing directly into subsea cables as anchor tenants, partners, and part owners with traditional carrier networks. Despite the increasing investment and level of interest from OTTs and social media giants in submarine cable networks, we continue to see carriers’ investment growing as well. At PCCW Global, we’ve announced investments in multiple critical routes recently, including in the Pacific and Eurasia. At PCCW Global we prefer to call OTTs “Internet Content Providers” or ICPs because this reflects the fact that they are the partners who are really driving the content riding on the networks.

mohamed pccw  smallerMohamed Nasr
AVP Cable Development, EMEA

Disruptors to the market, ICPs have now created new opportunities for traditional carriers to innovate and work on models or products that create synergies between them and ICPs such as PCCW Global’s Console Connect. Console Connect is a leading platform of global direct connect solutions, which enables PCCW Global customers to privately access business-critical SaaS applications, cloud providers and other enterprises with the click of a button. Potential is everywhere for future subsea expansions.

Africa for example, has considerable potential in the future based on their population size alone, as according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, more than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. We need to have collaborative models to cater for such potential including investment in infrastructure as a mandate. Terrestrial fibre networks are the driver to boost more traffic on the subsea side, with around 30 per cent of Africa’s population landlocked; the need to connect them to the coastal cities to access subsea with affordable rates is a pivotal matter – and this is simply taking Africa’s future needs into account. Major technologies creating opportunities for subsea cables design, facilitating future revolution and adaptation in the network include ROADM, WSS Branching units, with SDN and automation in the provisioning working hand in hand with wet segment innovation.

While cloud may be the buzz word on everyone’s lips, it is still the network that gets us there. PCCW Global’s is a true global carrier, with a great mix of experts in Sales, Marketing, Product, Engineering, Operations, Project Management, Finance, HR and Senior Management, ready to serve our customers wherever and whenever they are, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The sky’s the limit, and we are ready and eager to take on any challenge and find a solution to any problem. We look forward to getting your Digital Solutions Delivered!

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