Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), the incumbent, state-owned telecommunications provider in Cuba, has signed an agreement with the French telecom operator Orange SA to build the Arimao subsea cable connecting Cuba with Martinique and onwards to the rest of the world. The agreement was signed about one week after the US had blocked the ARCOS-1 subsea cable to connect Cuba with the United States and other Caribbean countries.
The Arimao subsea cable will span approximately 2410km, connecting Schoelcher, Martinique with the province of Cienfuegos, Cuba. This submarine cable system will be deployed ETECSA and Orange International Carriers, to be supplied and installed by Orange Marine.
Orange Marine's cable ship Pierre de Fermat has already began deploying the Arimao cable from Cienfuegos, Cuba towards Schoelcher, Martinique.
The Arimao cable system will allow ETECSA to expand and diversify international capacities in view of the growing demand for Internet connection and broadband services.
There is now only one international commercial subsea cable connecting Cuba, the ALBA-1 cable system connecting Venezuela and Jamaica with Cuba, which was completed in August 2012 and activated with traffic in January 2013.
ETECSA has been seeking solutions to diversify its international subsea cable connections. Since 2018, ETECSA has attempted to participate in the ARCOS-1 cable system and land the cable Cojimar, Cuba. But the ARCOS-1 project was finally blocked by the US government in the end of November, due to national security concerns.
Cuban Communications Minister Mayra Arevich noted that the underwater cable system contributes to meet the Cuban National Economic and Social Plan up to the year 2030 and will provide Cuban with better connectivity.