Softbank Maruyama CLS

The inauguration ceremony of Ellalink submarine cable system directly connecting Brazil to Europe took place in Sines, Portugal on June 1, 2021. The EllaLink cable system now enables the direct,high-bandwidth and low latency connections between Europe and Brazil, and also creates a new landing site and an innovation & data center hub in Sines – Sines Tech.

Marking a major milestone, the EllaLink cable was inaugurated in a dedicated session in Sines, Portugal with speeches from Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Digital Transition Pedro Siza Vieira, Brazil’s Minister for Science Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, EllaLink President Philippe Dumont, and Nokia President and CEO Pekka Lundmark. As part of the session, EllaLink showed a new video describing the journey taken to get to this point.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa stressed the strategic importance of this new Ellalink cable system and the privileged geographical position of Portugal as a point of connection with other continents. Costa pointed out that Portugal's geographical position makes it the "gateway, the point of connection and bridge between Europe and the other continents. This is what makes Portugal different in Europe in the past, present and future."

EllaLink is a new high-capacity, direct, undersea cable between the two continents, with its main nodes physically located in the cities of Sines (Portugal), Funchal (Madeira), Praia (Cabo Verde), Fortaleza, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), with a terrestrial extension in Europe to Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid and Barcelona (Spain), and Marseille (France), Furthermore, EllaLink has been designed so that it can be extended to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Mauritania and French Guiana.

The need for a fibre-optical cable linking Brazil to the EU started at the 7th EU – Brazil High-Level Summit held in February 2014 and was further developed at the 2015 summit between the EU and CELAC, where the heads of state decided to close the communication infrastructure gap and gave political support to digitally connect the two regions.

EllaLink Cable System
EllaLink Cable System, Source: Ellalink

 

The EllaLink cable system delivers 100Tbps of capacity over 4 fibre pairs, up to 25Tbps per fibre pair capacity direct from Europe to Latin America. The EllaLink cable system is supplied by ASN, with €25 million ($27.2m) financial support by the European Commission as part of its Building Europe Link to Latin America (BELLA) initiative.

The BELLA Programme provides for the long-term interconnectivity needs of European and Latin American research and education communities, achieved through two projects: BELLA-S which secures rights to spectrum on the EllaLink submarine cable and ensures future-proof connectivity requirements; and BELLA-T which sees the completion of fibre connectivity for Latin American NRENs – bringing much needed high-speed connectivity and equality of access for research and education communities across the continent. 

To bring this large-scale initiative to life, the BELLA consortium was established by a public-private partnership of stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic. The EU is the largest investor in the initiative, deploying around €26.5 million to support the long-term interconnectivity needs of the European and Latin American research and education communities. Co-funding for BELLA is also provided by Latin American NRENs and the Brazilian government.

The EllaLink cable system now enables the direct high-bandwidth connection between Europe and Brazil, offering less than 60ms round trip delay (RTD) to cross the Atlantic connecting Portugal to Brazil, and less than 120ms RTD between Marseille and São Paulo.

Ellalink also creates a new landing site and an innovation & data center hub in Sines – Sines Tech.

Sines Tech is strategically positioned for the joint development of subsea cable systems and data center infrastructures, both at the core of today’s Internet.

This Innovation & Data Center Hub combines in one location, “open access” to cost-effective land, high power density networks including access to nearby solar panels parks, high availability backhaul routes to Madrid and Lisbon, as well as a robust and secure subsea cable landing site.

Sines Tech – Innovation & Data Center Hub
Sines Tech – Innovation & Data Center Hub, Source: Ellalink