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Seaborn and Werthein to build submarine cable connecting Argentina to Brazil

Seaborn Networks and Argentine investment company Grupo Werthein have announced a binding agreement to build a new subsea fibre-optic cable system connecting Argentina with Brazil.

The ARBR system will be Argentina’s first independent submarine cable system, providing the most direct route between Argentina and the United States using onward connectivity via the Seabras-1 cable system. Seaborn is the sole operator of both cables.

The four-fibre pair system will have an initial design capacity of 48Tb/s.

The ARBR system will be developed and owned by Seabras Group (an affiliate of Seabras) and Werthein.  Seabras is the sole owner of the entire Seabras-1 submarine cable system between New York and Sao Paulo, which is expected to be ready for service in July 2017 (see Partners Group funds Seabras-1 cable linking US and Brazil).

Seabras has sold capacity on Seabras-1 to a wide variety of large and small telecom companies and other customers either via indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) or short-term leases, including Microsoft and Tata Communications (see Microsoft steps up submarine cable investment).

“We are very pleased to announce our agreement with Grupo Werthein to build and operate the ARBR system,” said Larry Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Seaborn Networks and Seabras Group.  “This project responds to the Argentine market need for substantially more international capacity on a next-generation system while also offering the country’s first independent operator model for a critical submarine cable route.”

“Given that it has been sixteen years since the last submarine cable was built from Argentina to Brazil, combined with the fact that this is the primary route for data and voice communications between Argentina and the rest of the world, this new and independent route is overdue,” commented Dario Werthein of Grupo Werthein.

Argentina’s Communications Minister Oscar Aguad said: “Argentina needs a global modernisation of communications infrastructure and this first independent submarine cable system is a very important step for that purpose.”

The ARBR system’s Brazil landing will be in the existing Seabras-1 cable landing station in Praia Grande, enabling the direct connection to Seabras-1.  The Argentina landing for ARBR is expected to be in or near Las Toninas. The anticipated completion date is the second half of 2018.

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