Ultra-low latency in the Atlantic with Seaborn Networks

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The hurricanes that battered the Caribbean and US East Coast over the late summer caused no damage to Seaborn Networks’ recently completed Seabras-1 cable.But then Seaborn’s express route was never designed to be a littoral type cable with multiple landing spots along the way. The Seabras-1 cable was designed deliberately to bypass the Caribbean islands, and instead offer ultra-low latency of around 106 milliseconds round-trip on one of the fastest-growing transoceanic routes in the world, between Sao Paulo in Brazil to New York City, in the United States.

So busy is the Brazil-US route in fact that existing subsea cables between these two countries carry approximately 65% of all internet, data, and voice traffic as between the whole of Latin America and the rest of the world. Given then the huge opportunities such a cable offers, it is no surprise Seaborn has attracted widespread interest from other parties keen to own capacity on the cable, including from Microsoft, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Tata Communications.

The cable route also offers a number of other advantages besides commercial interest, for example the fewer system elements that will be necessary to maintain, thereby reducing the probability of system failure. Competing routes, Seaborn claims, have more than 2.3 times the number of active elements in delivering a single wavelength service. Furthermore, landing into New York opens up hubs of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Washington D.C., as compared with Miami, where most East-Coast cables land in the US.

Image courtesy of Seaborn Networks

Image courtesy of Seaborn Networks

Of particular note, Seabras-1 offers the shortest route between Sao Paulo and Ashburn (Virginia); and the distance from Seaborn’s landing in New Jersey is the same distance as a landing in Virginia Beach. Landing in New York also gives access to an international gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Africa via trans-Atlantic cables, and enables high-speed routes to the West coast of the US to connect to Asia via trans-Pacific cables. New York does also offer of course diversity away from Miami, a need which has been thrown into stark light over the course of the recent hurricane season. Brazil, meanwhile, is not only home to Latin America’s prime economic city. The country is the main driver of growth in data consumption in Latin America, and amongst the leading nations in the world.

To ensure the Seabras-1 cable remains competitive for the forseeable future, Seaborn have gone to great lengths to utilize the best available technology. Working alongside subsea vendor Infinera, Seaborn have enabled up to 50 percent more capacity on one of their fiber pairs through systems such as Nyquist sub-carriers and SD-FEC gain sharing. Keen to follow up on their success in delivering Seabras-1, Seaborn have now moved onto developing two secondary subsea cables. The first, ARBR-   a four-fiber pair 48 Tbps cable, will stretch 2,000km from Buenos Aires to Sao Paolo from where it will integrate with Seabras-1.

ARBR & SABR

By linking into the Seabras-1 network, Argentina stands to benefit a great deal with the addition of this cable. It will be the first independently operated & locally owned (Seaborn is developing the cable along with Grupo Werthein of Argentina) transoceanic submarine cable system to connect

Argentina to the rest of the world. ARBR + Seabras-1 will also provide the first transoceanic solution for Argentina to be built in 16 years. And, given the few intervening stops, Argentina will benefit from much higher levels of reliability and lower latency than to which it has been accustomed.

A second, SABR a two-fiber pair cable, will cover the approximately 5,000km distance between Seabras-1 and Cape Town, South Africa, with expected branches to Saint Helena and Ascension Island.

We wish Seaborn all the best with these two follow-on projects, and hope their success can emulate that of Seabras-1.

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This article is part of a series of 15 interviews with leading cable project owners around the world, which we’ve compiled into the ebook “Submarine Networks Projects 2017”. Download a free copy of it here.

If you’d like to meet these cable owners and operators together with other leaders from the industry, you should join us at Submarine Networks World 2018, which takes place 24 – 26 September in Singapore. Firmly established as the must-attend annual meeting for industry players from all around the world, preparations are already underway for another year of inspiring ideas, extensive networking and lively debates, with a conference programme covering key industry issues ranging from New Demand Drivers to Marine Operations, as well as a brand new Innovation Zone featuring presentations on the latest R&D projects.

Keen to learn more? Get in touch with the team:

To sponsor: Bastiaan Heijden | +65 6322 2726
To speak: Yun Xuan (YX) Koh

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