Since the first transatlantic submarine cable system, TAT-1, went into service on 25 September 1956, there have been 26 submarine cable systems accross the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the transatlantic submarine cable systems have been retired of communications service.

Now, the in-service trans-Atlantic submarine cable systems include CANTAT-3, TAT-14, Apollo, Atlantic Crossing 1 (AC-1), Atlantic Crossing 2 (AC-2, also called Yellow), Columbus-III, FLAG Atlantic 1 (FA-1), Hibernia Atlantic, Tata TGN Atlantic.

And construction of new trans-Atlantic submarine cable systems, including Hibernia Atlantic's Project Express and Emerald Atlantis,  are underway and expexted to be ready for service in the end of 2012 or early 2013.

Apollo is a 13,000 transatlantic submarine cable system. The Apollo cable system consists of 2 segments North and South, creating two fully diverse transatlantic paths. Apollo North connects the United Kingdom and the USA and Apollo South directly connects France and the USA.

Apollo was ready for service in February 2003, with a design capacity of 6.4 Tbps (3.2 Tbps on both North and South segments).

Apollo offers point to point 10 Gbit/s SDH and LAN PHY wavelengths between the major cities and carrier pops on the US Eastern seaboard and Western Europe.

The Apollo cable network is owned and operated by Apollo Submarine Cable System Limited, a UK based company jointly owned by Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Alcatel-Lucent.

The AC-1 (Atlantic Crossing 1) is a 14,000 km trans-Atlantic submarine cable system linking the USA and three European countries, the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany.

The AC-2 (Atlantic Crossing 2, also known as Yellow) is a 6,400 km trans-Atlantic submarine cable system linking the USA and the UK. The AC-2 was put into service in January 2007, with an initial design capacity of 320 Gbps.

COLUMBUS III is a 9,900 km transatlantic submarine cable linking the US, Portugal, Spain and Italy. COLUMBUS III was ready for service in December 1999, with 2 fiber pairs and a design capacity of 20 Gbps.

The FA-1 (FLAG Atlantic 1) is a 14500 transatlantic submarine cable system linking the US, the UK and France. The FA-1 was ready for service in June 2001.

GTT Atlantic (formerly Hibernia Atlantic) is a 12,200 km private transatlantic submarine cable system in the North Atlantic Ocean, connecting Canada, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Hibernia Atlantic Submarine Cable System was ready for service on April 8, 2001, with a design capacity of 10.16 Tbps.

In January 2017, GTT completed the acquisition of Hibernia Networks for $USD607 million (initial price was $590 million) , which includes Hibernia Express, Hibernia Atlantic and other assets.

Before the acquisition, Hibernia Networks owns and operates a global network serving more than 100 markets and spanning 25 countries. Hibernia Networks serves customers with unparalleled support, flexibility and service in a variety of industry segments including financial markets, web-centric, media and entertainment, and telecom service providers. Providing enterprise-class and wholesale global connectivity solutions, Hibernia Networks offers secure and diverse optical transport, Ethernet and carrier-grade IP transit services. Hibernia Networks also offers dedicated cloud connectivity, low latency services, DTM and HiberniaCDN for seamless anytime, anywhere content delivery. Hibernia Express, Hibernia Networks’ transatlantic cable, provides the lowest latency connections available between major commercial and financial centers in North America, Europe and beyond. The state-of-the-art cable system garnered two Global Carriers Awards in 2015 — Subsea Project of the Year and Best Subsea Innovation, as well as the Global Telecom Business Innovation Award for 2016.

GTT Networks Map

GTT Express (formerly Hibernia Express) is a 4,600 km and 6-pair Trans-Atlantic submarine cable system linking Canada and the United Kingdom. Project Express is built with the state-of-the-art submarine network technology, specifically designed for the financial community stretching from North America to Europe. Hibernia Express offers the lowest latency route from New York to London with 58.55ms round trip delay.

Hibernia Express initially designed with 100 Gbps transmission capacity using TE SubCom’s C100 SLTE platform. It is a 6-fiber-pair submarine cable, with a portion of the fibers optimized for lowest latency and a portion optimized for 100x100 Gbps design capacity. The total cross-sectional design capacity of the Express cable is over 53 Tbps. Hibernia Express was ready for service on September 15, 2015.

Hibernia Express is privately-owned by Hibernia Atlantic, and form a part of Hibernia Atlantic's Global Financial Network which is specifically designed to meet the demanding performance and reliability requirements of the financial community.

In Jan. 2017, GTT completed the acquisition of Hibernia Networks which includes five subsea cables, including Hibernia Express, the lowest latency transatlantic cable system, and eight cable landing stations.


The TAT-14 is a 15,428 km transatlantic submarine cable system, connecting the United States to the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. The TAT-14 cable system is comprised of four fiber pairs, each operating at 40 x 10 Gbps DWDM, with a total design capacity of 3.2 Tbps. 

With a partial SDH ring protection network structure, the TAT-14 cable system has a total system capacity of 1.87Tbs calculated as: 
Southern route: 41 x 10Gbs channels + 640 Gbs SDH capacity 
Northern route: 18 x 10Gbs channels + 640 Gbs SDH capacity 
Total = 1.87 Tbs

The TAT-14 cable system was ready for service on March 21, 2001.

TGN-Atlantic is a 13,000 km transatlantic submarine cable system linking the United States and the United Kingdom. TGN-Atlantic was ready for service in June 2001.

America Europe Connect (AEConnect, AEC-1), formerly called Emerald Express, is a private trans-Atlantic undersea cable system owned by Aqua Comms, connecting Shirley, NY and Killala on the West Coast of Ireland, spanning more than 5,400 km with stubbed branching units for future landings, using CeltixConnect, an Irish Sea subsea cable wholly owned by AquaComms, to provide extended connectivity to London and greater Europe.

Featuring the latest technology of 130 Gbps x 100 Gbps per fibre pair in a total of 4 fiber pairs, AEC-1 provides low latency connectivity across the Atlantic, with 67.83ms between Equinix NY5 – Equinix LD6.

AEConect has been ready for for service since Jan 2016.

Aqua Comms incorporates people and plans from the former Emerald Express/Emerald Networks project. Aqua Comms is the parent of Sea Fibre Networks, which built CeltixConnect.

In early 2018, Aqua Comms announced the investment in HAVFRUE cable system and branded as America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2), the AEConnect is rebranded as America Europe Connect -1 (AEC-1).

AEConnect Trans-atlantic Network

MAREA is a new 6,600 km submarine cable system cross the Atlantic, connecting the United States to southern Europe: from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. 

Marea means “tide” in Spanish.  Marea cable system is the first subsea cable connecting Virginia and Spain.

Facebook and Microsoft jointly designed MAREA as the first Open Cable System in the world. Telxius joined in later as the thrid party of MAREA consortium, operates and manages the MAREA cable system. TE SubCom is the turn key suppier for MAREA cable system.

MAREA lands at Telxius' Virginia Beach Cable Landing Station (CLS) at 1900 Corporate Landing Parkway in Virginia Beach, where hosts Telxius' BRUSA cable as well. In Spain, MAREA lands at Telxius' Bilbao Cable Landing Station. Telxius is the landing party in Spain, while Microsoft is the landing party in the US.

MAREA is initially designed with eight fiber pairs and 160Tbps of system capacity.  MAREA cable system has been in-service since April 2018.

After the ready for service, there have been trials on the MAREA cable system with 400G DWDM technology supplied by both Infinera and Acacia, which demonstrated the OPEN Cable design and the transmission capacity of 26.2Tbps per fiber pair and system capacity of 200Tbps.

According to FCC documents, Facebook owns two fiber pairs in MAREA, Microsoft owns two fiber pairs in MAREA, Telxius owns the remaining 4 FPs. And AWS has acquired from Telxius a fiber pair in MAREA cable system on IRU basis.


Marea Cable Map

The HAVFRUE subsea cable is the first new undersea cable traversing the North Atlantic to connect mainland Northern Europe to the U.S. in nearly two decades, with a system capacity of 108Tbps and a trunk cable connecting New Jersey, USA to the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark with a branch landing in County Mayo, Ireland. Optional branch extensions to Northern and Southern Norway are also included in the design:

  • Main Trunk: Wall, New Jersey and Blaabjerg, Denmark, six fiber pairs.
  • Ireland Branch:  to Old Head Beach, Leckanvy, Ireland, six fiber pairs.
  • Norway Branch: to Kristiansand, Norway, two fiber pairs.

Havfrue means “mermaid” in Danish. 

The HAVFRUE consortium including Aqua Comms, Bulk Infrastructure, Facebook and Google. TE SubCom has been selected as supplier for the system on which route survey operations have begun. The projected Ready-for-Service (RFS) date for the HAVFRUE subsea cable is Q4 2019.

Aqua Comms is the appointed system operator and landing party in the U.S., Ireland, and Denmark.  Aqua Comms will market and sell capacity services and raw spectrum on its portion of the HAVFRUE cable system under the brand name America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) as complementary to its existing transatlantic cable, America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1).


EllaLink is a submarine cable connecting Brazil and Europe, linking the major hubs of Sao Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon and Madrid. The main section of the EllaLink cable traveling from Sines to Fortaleza is approximately 5900 km.

The EllaLink cable system delivers 72 Tbps of capacity over 4 fibre pairs, 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.

EllaLink was a partnership between Spanish submarine cable operator IslaLink and Brazilian state-owned telecoms provider Telebras. By the end of 2019, Telebras had withdrawn from the EllaLink cable project.

EllaLink collaborates with Telxius to land the cable at Telxius' Fortaleza Cable Landing Station. 

The EllaLink cable system is expected to be ready for service in early 2021.

EllaLink cable map

The Dunant submarine cable system is a 6,600km submarine cable connecting Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast.

The Dunant cable system is the first ever in-service undersea cable featuring a 12 fiber-pair Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) design, with a total design capacity of 25 Tbps per fiber pair, to deliver record-breaking capacity of 300 Tbps across the Atlantic.

Named in honor of Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman, social activist, first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and founder of the Red Cross, the Dunant cable system honors his memory and commitment to humanitarian ideals. 

The Dunant cable system is the second private submairne cable built by Google, following its first private and non-telecom submarine cable Curie, connecting Chile to Los Angeles.

In France, the Dunant cable lands at Orange's La Parée Préneau cable landing station in Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez. Google France has contracted with Orange to be the landing party in France. A landing party agreement governs the relationship between Google France and Orange.  Google France conveys to Orange ownership of the portion of the Dunant cable system that extends 12 nautical miles from the shores of France. Orange grants Google France an IRU for the same portion of the Dunant cable system. Further, Orange receives an IRU for two fiber pairs for the entire length of the Dunant cable system. 

In the US, Google is the landing party and lands the Dunant cable at Telxius' Virginia Beach Cable Landing Station. Google maintains control of the Dunant cable system in U.S. territory and international waters.

Google selects TE SubCom to design and deploy the Dunant cable system.

The US FCC has granted cable landing license for the Dunant cable system as of March 13, 2020.



WASACE 1 is the next-generation fiber-optic technology between Europe to Latin America, connects Fortaleza, the Canary Islands and Seixal with additional branches in Cape Verde, Madeira and Casablanca. 

WASACE 1 submarine cable system will provide 8 fiber pairs for a total capacity of 144 Tbps, each pair with an upgradeable initial capacity of 18 Tbps.

The project is expected to be completed in no more than 30 months, being Q2 2021 the projected Ready for Service (RFS) date for system WASACE 1.

WASACE 1  is invested by Hemisphere Cable Company and supplied by NEC.

WASECE1 Cable Route

The Grace Hopper Cable System is a new private subsea cable system invested by Google, following its CurieDunant and Equiano.

The Grace Hopper cable connects the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain, with 6,250 km from New York to the Cornish seaside resort town of Bude in the U.K. and 6300 km from New York Bilbao in Spain. 

The Grace Hopper cable is one of the first new cables to connect the U.S. and the U.K. since 2003. and the first investment by Google in a private subsea cable route to the U.K. and the first-ever route to Spain. The Spanish landing point will more tightly integrate the upcoming Google Cloud region in Madrid.

The Grace Hopper cable consists of 16 fiber pairs (32 fibers), a significant upgrade to the internet infrastructure connecting the U.S. with Europe.

SumCom is the supplier and turn-key contractor for the Grace Hopper cable.

The Grace Hopper cable project is expected to be completed in 2022.

The cable is named for computer science pioneer Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906–1992), best known for her work on one of the first linkers (compilers), which was critical in the development of the COBOL programming language. She’s also credited with famously finding an actual “bug” in a program; her team tracked down the source of a short circuit on the early Harvard Mark II computer to a moth trapped in a panel. It is to honor Grace Hopper’s legacy of innovation by investing in the future of transatlantic communications with a state-of-the-art fiber optic cable.

For more about Google's investment in subsea cable, please visit the Complete List of Google's Subsea Cable Investments.


Grace Hopper Cable Route
Grace Hopper Cable Route, Source: Google