EllaLink Ireland Ltd (EllaLink) announced on Tuesday that Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have started construction of the EllaLink Submarine Cable System. The BELLA (Building the Europe Link to Latin America) Consortium, the major financer of EllaLink, announced on the same day that EllaLink and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have finalised agreements for the construction of the EllaLink submarine fibre optic cable system. EllaLink is scheduled for operation in 2020.

The EllaLink System is being built with state-of-the-art coherent technology initially offering 72Tbps of capacity over four fiber pairs, to satisfy the demand for traffic between Europe and Latin America.  Linking Data Centers in Madrid, Lisbon, Marseille, Fortaleza and São Paulo, EllaLink will provide express subsea connectivity, and offer the first ever direct fiber pair between the two continents.

The initiative for the construction of the EllaLink cable system comes from RNP, the Brazilian NREN, which is  supported by a long-term programme launched by the government of Brazil.

BELLA (Building Europe Link to Latin America) consortium, whose leading investor is the European Commission, has signed a contract with EllaLink to launch the deployment of an underwater fibre optic cable connecting Europe and Latin America.

BELLA (Building the Europe Link with Latin America) provides for the long-term interconnectivity needs of the European and Latin American research and education communities by procuring and deploying a long-term Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) for spectrum on a direct submarine cable between the two regions, and deploying a 100Gbps-capable research and education network across Latin America. BELLA is implemented by a Consortium of the Regional Research and Education Networks GÉANT (Europe) and RedCLARA (Latin America) and the National Research and Education Networks of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Por tugal and Spain. BELLA receives funding from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 programme. BELLA receives funding in cash and kinds, from CEDIA (Ecuador), REUNA (Chile), RENATA (Colombia) and RNP (Brasil). Together, they contribute 30% of the access cost to the EllaLink transatlantic cable, as well as making significant contributions to upgrading the RedClara regional network in South America. 

It was reported earlier, BELLA provided €25 million ($27.2m) in financial support for the EllaLink cable system.

Marguerite II, a pan-European equity fund active in the renewables, energy, transport and digital infrastructure sectors, is another key financial sponsor for the Ellalink cable system. Marguerite II  signed an agreement to join the EllaLink submarine cable system as new sponsor in early 2018.