Submarine cable systems connecting North America and South America

Seabras-1 submarine cable is a new, fully operational, 10,500 km fiber optic cable which provides the first direct route between São Paulo and New York. Seabras-1 has been ready for operation as of September 8th, 2017.

Seabras-1 cable lands at Avon-by-the-Sea beach, New Jersey. Tata Communicatons offers a collocation space and cable landing facilities in its cable landing station at 1400 Wall Church Rd, Wall Township, New Jersey under long-term leasing and IRU agreements. In Brazil, Seabras-1 cable lands at Praia Grande. All backhaul and metro fiber from its Praia Grande landing station into metro São Paulo is underground for improved quality of service.

Seabras-1 cable system consists of 6 fiber pairs, with a design capacity of 72 Tbps or 12Tbps per fiber pair. In a trial using 8QAM with the Infinera XTS-3300, it verified up to 18.2Tbps on one of Seabras-1 fiber pairs.

Seabras-1 delivers the lowest latency route between Nasdaq, 1400 Federal in Carteret, New Jersey and  Brazil Stock Exchange, B3 in São Paulo, with an actual measured latency of 105.05ms RTD between the exchange data centers.

Seabras-1 is a private cable, owned and constructed by Seabras Group and its affiliates including Seabras 1 Bermuda Ltd, Seabras 1 USA LLC, Seabras 1 Brasil Ltda. and Seabras 1 Holdings Brasil Ltda..

Through a management agreement, Seaborn Networks operates the Seabras-1 cable system and related business. Seaborn Networks owns 42% shares of Seabras Group. 

The total project financing for the Seabras-1 cable system is more than US$520million. Alcatel-Lucent Sumarine Networks (ASN) was selected as the turn-key supplier. 

In March 2014, Natixis, a major French bank, offered a fully underwritten US$290 million senior secured project financing debt for the Seabras-1 cable project. The total project debt was actually US$267 million provided by Natixis, Banco Santander, Commerzbank and Intesa Sanpaolo, backed by the French export credit agency Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE). Natixis acted as sole Structuring Bank, Underwriter, and Mandated Lead Arranger for the senior debt facilities. Natixis also acted as Agent for COFACE. 

Partners Group, a Switzerland-based private markets investment manager, provided equity financing for the Seabras-1 cable project and acquired in aggregate an approximate 51.17% indirect economic interest in Seabras Group and its affiliates. Natixis acted as exclusive Equity Advisor for the equity-raising process.

In December 2017, TI Sparkle announced a long-term investment of over US$300 million for three fiber pairs out of the total six pairs of Seabras-1 cable system after its ready for service. There were announcements saying the significant investments on the Seabras-1 cable system by Microsoft and Tata Communications

On December 22, 2019, owners of the Seabras-1 cable system, Seabras 1 Bermuda Ltd (Seabras Bermuda) and Seabras 1 USA LLC (Seabras US), filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

In July 2020, Seabras and its subsidiaries emerged from its Chapter 11 filing with a new company ownership structure and the appointments of a new CEO and CFO for Seaborn Networks.

The MONET is a submarine cable system hooking up Boca Raton in Florida with Brazil’s Fortaleza and Santos, with six fiber pairs and a total design capacity of 64 Tbps.

The MONET consortium comprises of Google, Brazil’s Algar Telecom, Uruguay’s Antel, and Angola’s Angola Cables.

The América Móvil Submarine Cable System (AMX-1) spans 17500km, connecting 7 countires, including the United States, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico, with 11 cable landing stations in Jacksonville and Miami, in the United States; Puerto Barrios in Guatemala; Barranquilla and Cartagena in Colombia; Fortaleza, Salvador de Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic; San Juan in Pureto Rico and Cancun in Mexico.

The AMX-1 cable system is wholly owned by América Móvil, S.A.B. de C.V. (“América Móvil”) and its eight subsidiaries in the landing countries. The initial investment of the AMX-1 cable system costs about US$500million.

The AMX-1 cable system was launched for service in Dec 2013.

For more information, please refer to AMX-1 Cable System Overview.

BRUSA, a new submarine cable nearly 11,000 km in length linking Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (Brazil) with San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (USA), consists of 8 fiber pairs, with initial design capacity of 135 x 100 Gbps per fiber pair and ROADM technology. 

BRUSA is a private cable built and operated by Telefónica. The BRUSA cable system was launched for commercial service in Auguest  2018.

The BRUSA cable systems and the MAREA cable system jointly built by Facebook, Microsoft and Telxius are both landed at Virginia Beach cable landing station and  extended the backhaul capacity into Equinix DC2 and other data centers.

The Fiber Optic Austral (FOA) is the southernmost submarine cable in the world, connecting Las Lagos, Aysén and Magallanes in southern Chile.

The FOA cable system has a design capacity of 16 Tb/s and a length of 2,800 kilometers. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The FOA cable system is owned and operated by CTR (Comunicación y Telefonía Rural S.A.), and supplied by Huawei Marine.

ARBR is a 4-fiber pair, 48Tbps, direct POP-to-POP subsea cable system Buenos Aires (Argentina), and São Paulo (Brazil). With an interconnection with Seabras-1, ARBR enables the newest and most direct route between Argentina and the U.S.

It was reported earlier that ARBR to be deployed with C+L band technology. But such solution should be given up in the ARBR cable system. 

With Seaborn and The Werthein Group as owners, ARBR will be Argentina’s first and only transoceanic cable for Argentina that is not controlled by a large incumbent telecom company.

Construction is scheduled to commence in 2020.

The Curie submarine cable system is a four-fibre-pair and 10,500km cable connecting Los Angeles, California, and Valparaiso, Chile, with a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama.

The Curie cable system is designed with 18Tbps per fiber pair and a total system design capacity of 72 Tbps.

Named after physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the Curie cable system will make Google the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable. Google claims it will be the first new cable to land in Chile in almost 20 years, and will become the largest single data pipe connecting the country.

In the US, Curie cable terminates at Equinix LA4 data center and cable landing station, where hosts another submarine cable invested by Google, PLCN.

In Chile, Curie cable lands at CenturyLink Cable Landing Station at Subida Leopoldo Carvallo 350, Valparaíso, and connects to Quilicura Google Data Center in Santiago, Chile. 

The Curie cable system is supplied by TE SubCom. The Curie cable system was ready for service on November 15, 2019.

Curie Cable Map

GlobeNet Cable Map

GlobeNet submarine cable system spans 23,500 km serving North and South America with ring protection.

GlobeNet cable system lands at the following Cable Landing Stations (CLSs):

  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Boca Raton, Florida, USA
  • Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Maiquetía, Venezuela
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • St David’s, Bermuda
  • Tuckerton, New Jersey, USA

GlobeNet cable system offers direct low latency services in the following routes:

  • New York to São Paulo <108ms
  • New York to Rio de Janeiro <101ms
  • New York to Bogota <78ms
  • Miami to São Paulo <113ms
  • Miami to Rio de Janeiro <106ms

GlobeNet cable system was luanched for service in 2001.

GlobeNet is a portfolio company of BTG Pactual Infrastructure Fund II.

Malbec is a new 2,500 km submarine cable that links the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and will have a branching unit to reach Porto Alegre, Brazil.

By connecting Argentina to GlobeNet’s network in Brazil, the new infrastructure will provide seamless connectivity between the Southern Cone of South America and the United States. When completed, it will be the first new submarine cable route to reach the Argentinian coast since 2001.

The Malbec cable system is co-owned by GlobeNet and Facebook, and it will be operated by GlobeNet. "Malbec" is named after the renowned Argentinian wine.

The Malbec cable system will be ready-for-service date for the first half of 2020

Kanawa cable system is a 1,746-kilometer cable linking French Guiana and Martinique, with two fiber pairs and 100 Gbps DWDM technology, delivering up to 10 Tbps capacity. 

Kanawa, the new internet highway and key driver of growth and development for French Guiana, delivers high-speed connectivity between French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Kanawa cable system is built, owned and operated by Orange, Kanawa is one of the most powerful cables in the Caribbean region.

Tannat cable system is a 2000km subsea cable connecting Uruguay (Maldonado), Brazil (Santos) and Argentina (Las Toninas).

The Tannat cable consists of 6 fiber pairs, with an initial estimated design capacity of 90 Tbps, supplied by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks.

The Tannat consortium comprises Antel Uruguay, Google.

At Santos cable landing station, the Tannat cable system can interconnect with the Monet cable system to Boca Raton in the US and the Junior cable system to Rio de Janeiro.

The segment connecting Santos, Brazil, to Maldonado, Uruguay has been operational since mid-2018.  Google and Antel announced in July 2019 to extended Tannat cable system to the nearby coastal city of Las Toninas in the Buenos Aires province.

Junior is a 390 km subsea cable connecting Rio de Janeiro to Santos in Brazil, ready for service in 2018.

Junior cable is technically Google’s first private owned subsea cable, as a domestic subsea cable in Brazil.

At Santos cable landing station, Junior, Tannat and Monet cable systems interconnect seamlessly, to form key infrastructure of Google could platform connecting the US, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina along the coast of Atlantic. 

Google has invested in three private international subsea cables, i.e., CurieDunant, and Equiano.

The Pacific submarine cable system is a 7,300 km new undersea cable in the Pacific coast of Latin America, connecting Puerto San José (Guatemala) with Valparaíso (Chile), with additional landing points in Salinas (Ecuador), Lurín (Peru) and Arica (Chile). 

The Pacific cable system consists of six fibre pairs, with an initial capacity of 108 Tbps and the lowest latency from Guatemala to Chile.

The Pacific cable system is the first undersea cable since 2001 to connect Puerto San José (Guatemala) with Valparaíso (Chile)

The Pacific cable system is part of the ongoing commitment of the two largest telecommunication groups in Latin America, América Móvil and Telxius, to be ready for service in the end of 2020.

Pacific Cable Route
Pacific Cable Route, Source: Telxius

 

The Mid-Atlantic Crossing (MAC) cable system is a 4,600 miles (7,500 km) of submarine cable. The MAC cable system consists of two optical fiber pairs, with an initial design capacity of 1.3 Tbps.

The MAC cable lands at:

The MAC cable system was built by Global Crossing, ready for service in June 2000.

The MAC cable system is now part of CenturyLink's network assets, as well as Pan-American Crossing (PAC), South American Crossing (SAC), and Atlantic Crossing 1 (AC-1), AC-2/Yellow, Hawaii Island Fiber Network (HIFN), etc.

The Pan-American Crossing (PAC) submarine cable network spans more than 6,000 route miles (10,000 km), connecting the United States to Mexico, Central America, and South America. The PAC cable system comprises a self-healing ring (two fiber pairs) and WDM technology, with an intial design capacity of 20Gbps.

The PAC cable system was built by Global Crossing, ready for service in March 2000.

The PAC cable system is now part of CenturyLink's network assets, as well as Mid-American Crossing (MAC), South American Crossing (SAC), and Atlantic Crossing 1 (AC-1), AC-2/Yellow, Hawaii Island Fiber Network (HIFN), etc.

The PAC cable lands at:

  • Grover Beach, California, United States
  • Tijuana, Mexico
  • Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Unqui, Costa Rica
  • Fort Amador, Panama


Pan-American Crossing
Pan-American Crossing Cable Route, Soure: TeleGeography

The South American Crossing (SAC) cable system includes undersea and terrestrial fiber optic ring network of projectapproximately 12,000 route miles (20,000 km).

The SAC cable system forms a four-fiber pair ring using dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.

The SAC cable system was built by Global Crossing, ready for service in September 2000.

The subsea portions of the SAC cable system lands at:

  • Las Toninas (Argentina),
  • Fortaleza (Brazil),
  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil),
  • Santos (Brazil),
  • St. Croix (US Virgin Islands),
  • Puerto Viejo, Venezuela
  • Colon, Panama
  • Fort Amador (Panama)
  • Buenaventura (Colombia)
  • Lurin (Peru),
  • Valparaiso (Chile)

In 2015, Level 3 added an extension to the SAC cable system with a new branch to a cable station at Punta Bazan in Buenaventura on Colombia's Pacific coast near Cali. The new SAC Colombia spur has a design capacity of 4.5 Tbps and initial capacity of 400 Gbps.

Terrestrial segments of the SAC cable system connect to most major South American cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, Cali, and Bogota. The SAC ring network completes on its southern-most end by a terrestrial link across the Andes between Las Toninas and Valparaiso.

The SAC cable system is now part of CenturyLink's network assets, as well as Mid-American Crossing (MAC), Pan-American Crossing (PAC), and Atlantic Crossing 1 (AC-1), AC-2/Yellow, Hawaii Island Fiber Network (HIFN), etc.

 

SAC Cable Network
South Atlantic Crossing

The AMERICAS-II Cable System (AMERICAS-II) is a 8,373 km submarine cable from USA to Brazil. The AMERICAS-II cable system was ready for service in August 2000.

The Americas-II consourtium comprises:

  • AT&T,
  • Level 3,
  • Verizon,
  • Sprint,
  • Cable & Wireless Communications,
  • Columbus Networks,
  • Embratel,
  • CANTV,
  • Centennial of Puerto Rico,
  • Corporacion Nacional de Telecommunicaciones,
  • Telecom Argentina,
  • Orange,
  • Portugal Telecom,
  • Telecom Italia Sparkle,
  • Tata Communications.

Americas-II Cable Route

The Americas-II cable system has 9 cable landing points and terminal stations (Segment T) at:

  • T9: Hollywood, Florida, United States
  • T8: Miramar, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • T7: Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • T6: Le Lamentin, Martinique
  • T5: Willemstad, Curaçao
  • T4: Camuri, Venezuela
  • T3: Chaguaramas, Trinidad
  • T2: Cayenne, French Guiana
  • T1: Fortaleza, Brazil

The Americas-II cable system coomprises 13 submarine segments:

  • The trunk — segments S1, S3, S5, S9, S11, S12, and S13 — consists of four fiber pairs operating at 2.5 Gbps per wavelength.
  • The branches — segments S2, S4, S6, S7, S8, and S10 — consist of two fiber pairs operating at 2.5 Gbps per wavelength.

The AMERICAS-II cable system consists of three interconnected rings (North, South, and West Systems), each operating at 2.5Gbps per wavelength collapsed ring configurations, initially in separate collapsed ring configurations, and a dedicated link between Curacao and Venezue not operating in a collapsed ring configuration.

Each fiber pair in each of the three rings has a capacity of thirty-two 155Mbps Basic System Modules (BSM), with each BSM containing 63 Minimum Investment Units (MIUs) and equipped at the outset for a capacity of 1008 MIUs.

The North System contains four fiber pairs in a collapsed ring configuration with ten wavelengths per fiber pair resulting in a total capacity of 20,160 MIUs for operation and 20,160 MIUs for protection, the cable station at Hollywood, Florida, an appropriate share of the cable station at St. Croix, USVI, and the system interfaces. These four fiber pairs was initially configured as two independent bi-directional rings, each consisting of two fiber pairs directly interconnecting St. Croix, USVI and Hollywood, Florida.

The South System capacity supports the South Ring System and the Southwest System. The South Ring System contains four fiber pairs in a collapsed ring configuration with eight wavelengths per fiber pair resulting in a total capacity of 16,128 MIUs for operation and 16,128 MIUs for protection, the cable station at Fortaleza, Brazil, an appropriate share of the cable station at St. Croix, USVI, the Branch cable stations or an appropriate share of those cable stations, and the system interfaces. These four fiber pairs was initially configured as two independent bi-directional rings, each consisting of two fiber pairs.

The West System contains four fiber pairs interconnecting St. Croix, USVI and Puerto Rico, with only two fiber pairs initially equipped with four wavelengths each, in a bi-directional collapsed ring configuration, resulting in a total capacity of 4,032 MIUs for operation and 4,032 MIUs for protection (including the cable station at Puerto Rico), an appropriate share of the cable station at St. Croix, USVI, and the system interfaces. These four fiber pairs was initially configured as two independent bi-directional rings, each consisting of two fiber pairs directly interconnecting St. Croix, USVI and Miramar, Puerto Rico.

MAYA-1 is a 4400km submarine cable system connecting the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, from Hollywood, Florida on the southern tip of the United States to Tolu, Colombia on the northern tip of South America.

The MAYA-1 cable system was ready for service in October, 2000.

Utilizing Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) and Direct Wave Access (DWA) with Erbium-Doped-Fiber-Amplifier (EDFA) technology, the MAYA-1 cable system has a system design ring capacity of 50Gbps of SDH capacity and 1910Gbps of DWA capacity after the upgrade in 2017.

The MAYA-1 consortium comprises: 

  • AT&T,
  • Sprint,
  • Verizon Business,
  • Tata Communications,
  • Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC),
  • Hondutel, 
  • CANTV,
  • Telefonica,
  • BT,
  • Orbitel, 
  • MarcaTel,
  • RSL Telecom (Panama)
  • etc.

The MAYA-1 cable system consists of two segments (S and T) and various subsegments. Segment S includes the whole of the submarine cable and associated equipment. Segment T includes all of the cable stations and related equipment.

The MAYA-1 cable system deploys an interconnected collapsed ring configuration that contains two fiber pairs with five branching units connecting to the landing points.

Segment S consists of two fiber optic pairs initially operating at 2.5 Gbps per wavelength in one interconnected collapsed ring configuration. The initial design capacity of each fiber pair is equivalent to 48 Basic System Modules (BSMs), with a maximum upgrade capacity equivalent to 128 BSMs.  The MAYA-1 cable system has been upgraded to support a system design ring capacity of 50G of SDH Capacity and 1910G of DWA Capacity.

The MAYA-1 cable system has seven terminal stations and segments T:

  • T1: Hollywood, FL, United States
  • T2: Cancún, Mexico
  • T3: Puerto Cortes, Honduras
  • T4: Half Moon Bay, Cayman Islands
  • T5: Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
  • T6: Maria Chiquita, Panama
  • T7: Tolu, Colombia

 

 Maya-1 Cable Route

The Americas Region Caribbean Optical-Ring System (ARCOS-1) is a 8,700 km submarine cable system connecting 24 landing points in 15 countries, including the United States, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico.

The ARCOS-1 Consortium comprises ARCOS-1 USA, Inc, Inc and its wholly-owned direct subsidiary A.SurNet, Inc, and eighteen (18) international carriers, including:

  1. Axtel S.A.B. de C.V. [Mexico]
  2. United Telecommunications Services, N.V. [Curacao]
  3. Alestra Comunicacion SRL de CV [Mexico]
  4. The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited [The Bahamas]
  5. Belize Telemedia Limited [Belize]
  6. Compañía Anónima Nacional Teléfonos de Venezuela [Venezuela]
  7. Compañía Dominicana de Telefonos [Dominican Republic]
  8. Empresa Nicaraguense de Telecomunicaciones Sociedad Anonima [Nicaragua]
  9. Empresa Hondureña de Telecomunicaciones [Honduras]
  10. Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad [Costa Rica]
  11. Level 3 Colombia S.A. [Colombia]
  12. Internexa S.A.E.S.P. [Colombia]
  13. Verizon Business [USA]
  14. IC Investment Management, LLP [Colombia]
  15. Telecarrier, S.A. [Panama]
  16. Global Interlink [Bermuda]
  17. Tricom, S.A. [Dominican Republic]
  18. PREPA International Wholesale Transport, Inc. [Puerto Rico]

ARCOS-1 USA and A.SurNet and their affiliates hold 96% of the voting and ownership interests in the ARCOS-1 cable system, with the remaining ownership held by 18 international carriers, each with nominal ownership interests.

A.SurNet owns and operates the ARCOS-1 cable landing station in North Miami Beach, Florida.

After various acquisitions and transfers, ARCOS-1 USA and A.SurNet as well as the cable landing station in North Miami Beach and the majority of the ARCOS-1 cable system are now controlled by Liberty Latin America Ltd., a Bermuda company.

The ARCOS-1 cable system has twelve (12) fiber pairs on repeaterless segments and three (3) fiber pairs on repeatered segments, and a current end of life capacity of 8.4 Tbps.

ARCOS-1 Cable Route
ARCOS-1 Cable Route, Source: C&W Networks

 

The ARCOS-1 Cable Landing Station includes:

  1. North Miami Beach, Florida, Estados Unidos
  2. Cancún, México
  3. Tulum, México
  4. Ladyville, Belice
  5. Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
  6. Puerto Cortés, Honduras
  7. Trujillo, Honduras
  8. Puerto Lempira, Honduras
  9. Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua
  10. Bluefields, Nicaragua
  11. Puerto Limón, Costa Rica
  12. María Chiquita, Panamá
  13. Ustupu, Panamá
  14. Cartagena, Colombia
  15. Riohacha, Colombia
  16. Punto Fijo, Venezuela
  17. Willemstad, Curazao
  18. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  19. Punta Cana, República Dominicana
  20. Puerto Plata, República Dominicana
  21. Providenciales, Islas Turcas y Caicos
  22. Isla de Crooked, Bahamas
  23. Cat Island, Bahamas
  24. Nassau, Bahamas

 

ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension 

A U.S. law prohibiting doing business with Cuba following the Cuban Revolution in 1959 prevented any U.S.-Cuban cable building. Finally in 2016, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) dropped the last legal restrictions for a direct U.S.-Cuba cable. 

In 2018, ARCOS-1 USA filed the FCC an application to add a branch to Cuba and a cable landing station in Cojimar, Cuba (ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension). The cable landing will be accomplished by creating a branch from an existing branching unit of the ARCOS-1 Cable that lies approximately fifty-six (56) kilometers off the coast of Cuba to a beach manhole (“BMH”) in Cojimar, Cuba, located at N23˚10’ 1.55’’, 82˚18’ 54.58’’W. The new branch shall be designated as “Segment 26” of the ARCOS-1 Cable. The ARCOS-1 Cable will then extend through a cable land route to an existing cable landing station (“CLS”) in Cojimar, Cuba (the coordinates of the property are: Nlocated at N23˚9’ 44.98’’,82˚18’ 45.97’’W. The ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension will consist of two fiber pairs and will have an initial capacity of 100Gbps and planned capacity of 1.6 Tbps. 

ARCOS-1 USA and A.SurNet and their affiliates will own 96% of the capacity on the ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension, with the remaining four percent of the capacity to be offered to the 18 ARCOS-1 consortium members corresponding to the percentage commensurate with their ownership interests in the cable system. Columbus Networks Limited (CNL), or a wholly-owned and controlled subsidiary of CNL, will be the landing party in Cojimar, Cuba. The cable landing station in Cuba and the duct (cable land route) from the beach manhole to the Cojimar, Cuba cable landing station is owned by Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), the incumbent, state-owned telecommunications provider in Cuba. The physical cable inside the duct will be owned by CNL or an affiliate of CNL. ETECSA will provide the Cuban cable landing station with updated telecommunications equipment to operate SEGMENT 26, and ETECSA will acquire an indefeasible right of use (IRU) on some capacity on SEGMENT 26 from CNL. Neither CNL nor its subsidiaries are, or will become, a licensed telecommunications carrier in Cuba. 

It appears that ARCOS could finally become the first commerical fiber optic cable to directly connect the U.S. and Cuba.  There are an existing cable between Florida and the U.S. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (the GTMO-1 cable system), and a cable from Guantanamo Bay to Puerto Rico (the GTMO-PR cable system).

The application for license for the ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension is still pending for approval. 

 

 

The Guantanamo Bay to Dania Beach Submarine Fiber Optic Cable System (GTMO-1) is approximately 1530km (950miles), connecting the Defense Information System Network (DISN) Facilities at Miami FL and U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), in order to supply high bandwidth to Department of Defense (DoD) activities at GTMO, and improve long-haul communications between the continental U.S. and GTMO.

According to the U.S. Federal Register, The GTMO-1 cable system involves two existing, shore-based U.S. naval facilities where the GTMO SFOC will be landed end-to-end. On the continental U.S. end, the cable will be landed at the U.S. Navy's South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF) at Dania Beach, Florida; from there, the GTMO-1 cable system spans the entirety of Florida's Territorial Waters (3 nautical miles (nm)), extending through the U.S. Territorial Sea (12 nm) and Contiguous Zone (24 nm), with the majority of the cable system passing through a combination of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Bahamian EEZ, and the Cuban EEZ to the nearshore landing at the American Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

The GTMO-1 cable system is owned and operated by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The DISA is a Department of Defense (DoD) combat support agency under the direction, authority and control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence.

The DISA leases commercial dark fiber to facilitate the terrestrial connection between SFOMF and the Network Access Point (NAP) of the Americas in Miami, Florida to provide DISN node-to-node connection.

In May 2014, the US DoD awarded Xtera Communications the contract to build the GTMO-1 cable system.  Xtera Communicationst announced in June 2014 that it won the $31,220,394 contract for the 950-mile submarine cable system without ever mentioning Guantánamo. Xtera subsequently was awarded a $3.7 million contract to build the ground stations for the Guantánamo Bay to Dania Beach Submarine Fiber Optic Cable System, with a cost of approximately $35 million. Later in August 2017, Xtera was awarded by the DoD a contract of approxiamately US$43million to build a new submarine cable connecting Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and  Puerto Rico, i.e., the GTMO-PR cable system.

The GTMO-1 cable system was ready for service in February 2016. 

Currently, GTMO-1 cable system is the first submarine cable directly connecting the United States and Cuba, but it is not served for commerical use.

GTMO-1 & GTMO-PR Cables
GTMO-1 & GTMO-PR Cables

 

The Guantanamo Bay to Punta Salinas, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico Submarine Fiber Optic Cable System (GTMO-PR) is approximately 1,400 kilometers (756 nautical miles), connecting the Defense Information System Network (DISN) Facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) and  Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico, in order to supply high bandwidth to Department of Defense (DoD) activities at GTMO, and improve long-haul communications between the continental U.S., Puerto Rico and GTMO.

According to the U.S. Federal Register, The GTMO-PR cable system connects the Defense Information System Network (DISN) node located offshore at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), Cuba to the DISN node located in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. The GTMO-PR cable land into a pre-laid shore end stub cable (installed in 2016 as part of GMTO-1 cable project) ending 19 kilometers (10.26 nautical miles) offshore of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba to the DISN node located in Fort Buchanan, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The landing location for Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rico Air National Guard (PRANG) Radar installation located in Punta Salinas, Toa Baja through a horizontally directional drilled (HDD) pipe. For the subsequent connection to the Army Reserves Base, Fort Buchanan in Bayamon.

The GTMO-PR cable system is owned and operated by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The DISA is a Department of Defense (DoD) combat support agency under the direction, authority and control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence.

The DISA leases local circuit services to facilitate the terrestrial connection to the Army Reserves Base, Fort Buchanan in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The DISA also leases commercial dark fiber to facilitate the terrestrial connection between the GTMO-1 cable landing station and the Network Access Point (NAP) of the Americas in Miami, Florida. With GTMO-1 and GTMO-PR cable systems, DISN forms node-to-node connection between the continental U.S., Puerto Rico and GTMO.

In August 2017, Xtera was awarded by the DoD a contract of approxiamately US$43million to build the GTMO-PR cable system. Earlier in May 2014, the US DoD awarded Xtera the contract to build the GTMO-1 cable system.

The GTMO-PR cable system was ready for service in September 2019.

The GTMO-PR cable system is not served for commerical use. 

 

GTMO-1 & GTMO-PR Cables
GTMO-1 & GTMO-PR Cables

 

The Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) is a 6000km submarine cable connecting Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

The PCCS consortium comprises:

  • Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W Networks, a Liberty Latin America company)
  • Setar,
  • Cable Andino (Telconet),
  • Telxius, and
  • United Telecommunication Services (acquired by Liberty Latin America in 2019)

The PCCS has eight landing stations, including:

  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA,
  • Tortola, the British Virgin Island,
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico,
  • Hudishibana, Aruba,
  • Cartagena, Colombia,
  • Maria Chiquita, Panama,
  • Balboa, Panama, and
  • Manta, Ecuador.

PCCS cable route

The PCCS cable system consists of 9 segments, with 2 or 3 fiber pairs in most of the segments, and 8 fiber pairs in the segment between Tortola, BVI and Jacksonville, Florida. 

The PCCS cable system was initially designed with 8 fiber pair x 100 Gps x 100 wavelength DWDM technology, for the system capacity of 80 Tbps.

The PCCS cable system was supplied by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN), ready for service on July 31, 2015.

 

The Colombia-Florida Subsea Fiber (CFX-1) is a 2400km submarine cable connecting the United States, Columbia, and Jamaica.

The CFX-1 cable system has cable landing stations in:

  • Boca Raton, Florida,
  • Cartagena, Colombia,
  • Morant Bay, Jamaica
  • Copa Club, Jamaica

The CFX-1 cable system consists of one segment with repeaters connecting Cartagena and Boca Raton, and a branch without repeaters connecting to Morant Bay, and a second landing in Copa Club, Jamaica

The CFX-1 cable system contains 2 fiber pairs on its trunk connecting Cartagena and Boca Raton and branch to Morant Bay, and 12 fiber pairs on repeaterless segment between Morant Bay and Copa Club.

Currently, the CFX-1 has a system capacity up to 12Tbps.

The CFX-1 cable system was a private cable owned and operated by Columbus Networks, currently owned by Liberty Latin America (Liberty Latam).

The CFX-1 cable system was supplied by Tyco (now SubCom), ready for service in August 2008.

CFX-1 Cable Route
CFX-1 Cable Route, Source: C&W Networks

The Alternativa Bolivariana para los Pueblos de nuestra América (ALBA-1) is a 1860 km submarine cable linking Cuba, Jamaica and Venezuela.

The ALBA-1 cable system is the first subsea cable connecting Cuba to the outside world. 

The ALBA-1 cable project was first announced in January 2007, and completed in August 2012, activated with traffic in January 2013.

The ALBA-1 cable system is owned and operated by Venezuelan/Cuban joint venture Telecomunicaciones Gran Caribe (TGC). TGC is 60% owned by state-run Telecom Venezuela with the remainder held by Cuba’s Telco Transbit.

The ALBA-1 cable lands at:

  • Siboney beach, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
  • La Guaira, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Ocho Rios,  Jamaica

The ALBA-1 cable system has a design capacity of 5.12 Tbps.

Alcatel-Lucent, through its Chinese subsidiary Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, was awarded the contract to provide turn-key solution for the construction of the ALBA-1 cable system, with a final cost of US$70 million. The initial cost estimate, from October 2006, was $55 million: $35 million for the undersea portion and $20 million to extend the cable to the Cuban and Venezuelan networks in Havana and Caracas.

The ALBA-1 cable system is currenlty the only one commerical international cable system connecting Cuba to the world. Beside, there are GTMO-1 and  GTMO-PR submarine cable systems landing at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, not available for commercial use. And the ARCOS-1 Cuba Extension is still pending.

The South America-1 Cable Network (SAm-1) is a nearly 25,000 km subsea fiber-optic cable ring surrounding Latin America, including 22,000 km of submarine cable and 3,000 km of terrestrial links across Argentina, Chile and Guatemala.

The SAm-1 cable system is privately owned and operated by Telxius.

The SAm-1 cable system consists of four fiber pairs, initially designed with a self-healing ring architecture, capable of carrying 48x10 Gbps each and a system capacity of 1.92 Tbps. The SAm-1 was ready for service in March 2001.

The SAm-1 cable system has been upgraded to support 100Gbps wavelength, with a system capacity of 20Tbps since 2012.

The SAm-1 has the following cable landing stations:

  • Boca Raton, Florida, United States
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Las Toninas, Argentina
  • Valparaíso, Chile
  • Arica, Chile
  • Lurín District, Peru
  • Máncora, Perur
  • Manta, Ecuador
  • Puerto San José, Guatemala
  • Puerto Barrios, Guatemala

 

SAm-1 Cable Route
SAm-1 Cable Route, Source: Telxius