Subsea cable systems are quite common in Cancun. After all, Telmex and other companies have already used the city as a landing point for past projects like the AMX-1. A cable system connecting Florida and Cancun just hasn’t been seen in over 20 years.

However, FB Submarine Partners, a new international telecoms network developer, announced that they are building a 1,200 km Mexican Caribbean subsea cable. the GigNet-1 subsea cable system. This is in collaboration with network provider GigNet Inc. and EPC contractor Xtera. And here’s what you need to know about it.


the Hotel Zone of Cancun, Mexico
The Hotel Zone of Cancun, Mexico


The GigNet-1

The subsea cable system, called the GigNet-1, aims to solve the growing demand for increased internet bandwidth in Mexico Caribbean and its connected areas. Naturally, GigNet will establish the IP transit and private lines. The company already operates a fiber-optic network in the Riviera Maya region (also located in the Yucatan peninsula like Cancun), so this new installation can be integrated seamlessly.

After careful service evaluation, GigNet eventually chose Xtera to provide the network’s “wet plant” parts, like the cables and optical amplifiers. The latter is a type of semiconductor that can handle a huge number of wavelengths with no crosstalk, making underwater connections the best they can be. Due to the complexity of the component, many optical amplifiers are created using 3D parts in a footprint library, so it’s easy to edit every layer. The integrated mechanical workflows have also helped engineers overcome design challenges like inaccurate data, creating quality amplifiers throughout the years.

“I truly believe we have assembled an incredible team of experts and partners that will result in the deployment of this cable system on time and on budget,” said GigNet CTO Michael Mahoney in a press release.


How far are they into development?

The GigNet-1 has already been in development for the past two years, and is set to go live sometime in 2022. This projected completion date has already taken into account permission requests from Florida and Mexico, the installation of the system, and various other feasibility studies. The next part of the project will be a marine route survey, which will be created by IT International Telecom Inc. — another notable expert in subsea cable systems.

“The economic impact of this new subsea cable to the economic development of Quintana Roo and Yucatan will be extraordinary,” Mahoney continued. This is very true. After all, the Mexican Caribbean — which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, as well as other cities near the Yucatan peninsula — is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2019, 19 million people visited the region, with over 5 million coming in on cruise ships. And with added safety policies, it was also able to invite almost 1 million visitors over the 2020 holidays.

The GigNet-1 is one of FB Submarine Partners’ first publicized projects, making it an important part of its portfolio. If all goes well, we may see more subsea cable systems from them in the next few years.