U.S. technology company Microsoft says its combing its strength with social media giant, Facebook to lay a giant undersea cable across the Atlantic Ocean to deliver faster Internet access.
The new “MAREA” cable will help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services for Microsoft, Facebook and their customers, according to a joint statement by the technology companies.
Construction of the cable will commence in August 2016 with completion expected in October 2017.
According to the tech companies, MAREA will be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic, featuring eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tbps.
The new 6,600 km submarine cable system, to be operated and managed by Telxius , will also be the first to connect the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The companies also expect that MAREA is designed to be interoperable with a variety of networking equipment saying that its “open” design brings significant benefits for customers: lower costs and easier equipment upgrades which leads to faster growth in bandwidth rates since the system can evolve at the pace of optical technology innovation.
Microsoft says it is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services, stressing that this robust, global infrastructure will enable customers to more quickly and reliably store, manage, transmit and access their data in the Microsoft Cloud.
Frank Rey, Director, Global Network Acquisition, Microsoft Corp says that, “in order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global Internet infrastructure.” This according to him “marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the Internet.”
The companies also revealed that they are working with Telxius, Telefónica’s telecommunications infrastructure company, building upon their longstanding experience in subsea cables on this innovative new system.
Telxius will serve as the operator of the system and sell capacity as part of their wholesale infrastructure business, the technology companies said.