Submarine cable specialist TE Subcom has been named the system supply and installation partner for the new MAREA submarine cable system across the Atlantic Ocean.
Announced by Facebook and Microsoft in May 2016, MAREA will be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic – featuring eight fibre-pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tb/s.
Work is already underway on the new cable. TE SubCom has completed the route survey and begun manufacture of the system at its facility in Newington, New Hampshire. The parties are on track to begin laying cable using TE SubCom's state-of-the-art cable installation ships next year, with a scheduled completion date of October 2017.
The new 6,600 km submarine cable system, which is to be operated and managed by Telefonica’s infrastructure subsidiary Telxius, will also be the first to connect the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao, Spain. This new southern route will provide greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers, as well as optimal connectivity to data centres on the East Coast of the United States.
Led by Facebook and Microsoft, who are leading proponents of “open” architectures, the MAREA will be constructed to be interoperable with a wide variety of network equipment. This new open design brings significant benefits: namely, lower costs and easier equipment upgrades, which should allow the cable system can evolve at a pace more closely matched to optical technology innovation.
“We're pleased to work with TE SubCom to advance state-of-the-art transoceanic fibre connections. This is one example of how Microsoft collaborates with industry leaders to drive innovation and build the next generation infrastructure of the internet. MAREA will offer better connections to users in Europe and beyond,” said Frank Rey, director, global network acquisition, Microsoft Corp.