MAREA: Facebook and Microsoft are also in the underwater cables business

With MAREA, the two American ICT giants enter the underwater cables business, with a record-setting project at the service of connectivity and the cloud. 6,600 km long, 8 pairs of fibre and a capacity of 160 terabits/sec are the numbers of the infrastructure destined to play a strategic role.

MAREA, a record-setting cable

MAREA is the name that Microsoft and Facebook chose to christen the project that will mark their début in the business of the new underwater cables. This is an infrastructure that will cross the Atlantic Ocean horizontally, connecting BilbaoSpain, with Virginia BeachUnited States, for a total length of about 6,600 km. Work will begin in August 2016 and end in October of 2017.

MAREA is an important investment with record-breaking numbers and the ambition of playing a strategic role in the telecommunications global network. The first innovative element has to do with the selected route; it will be the first cable from the USA to aim toward Southern Europe, instead of heading north. The other record has to do with the capacity: the infrastructure, which has 8 pairs of fibre, will have a capacity of 160 terabits/sec, much more powerful than all the others that already cross the Atlantic.

Improving speed, supporting the cloud

The choice of such a strong investment by Facebook and Microsoft falls within a general scenario of network development that the two global ICT players have been pursuing for some time now. Reaching more people with an increasingly faster and more reliable connection means widening the basin of potential customers.

The stated goal is to support the explosion of data traffic foreseen over the coming years with an adequate infrastructure. For example, according to Ericsson’s Mobility Report, in 2021, data traffic will have a volume 10 times greater than today. This is a boom that requires a strong and efficient network that is, above all, able to reach even areas of the world that have been cut off until now in a capillary way.