Arctic Connect

Navigating the Arctic

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It is always interesting to hear news of especially challenging, or pioneering cable projects, so we were certainly excited when we were given the chance to catch up with Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Executive Advisor at Cinia

Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Executive Advisor, Cinia Group

Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Executive Advisor, Cinia Group

Group Oy to hear about their exciting and ambitious plans for Arctic Connect, a new cable that will reach all the way from Frankfurt in Germany to Tokyo in Japan – cross the top of Russia!

Part of the drive behind this project is to help strengthen Helsinki as a strategic gateway between East and West and in so doing, boost the place of Finland as a major European hub for digital infrastructure. But laying cable across Arctic waters is no easy challenge, so Cinia have sought the advice of Russian firm, Polarnet, themselves cable operators with experience of operating in the region.

The design of Arctic Connect is 6 fibre-pairs with a capacity of 12 terabits each, which, it is expected, could be upgraded over time to around 18 terabits. Once completed this 700m USD open system cable will integrate with the existing Cinia-built C-Lion 1 cable that connects Helsinki with other major European hubs, including Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris. There are also plans for a possible further extension across the Atlantic to the US. Meanwhile in Asia, there are plans to link into other networks to connect with Singapore and the rest of SE Asia, and even down to Australia, making this a truly global cable network.

Arctic Connect

Planned route for Arctic Connect

Despite the challenges involved in such a project, including the difficult climatic conditions and the short windows of opportunity in which to work, the end result will be not just a diverse cable route but also much improved latency. Jukka-Pekka believes that once completed the cable will be able to offer a round trip latency figure of around 170 milliseconds (between Frankfurt and Tokyo), a significant improvement on the estimated 250 milliseconds currently achieved by southern connecting routes.

Given the complexity and adverse conditions associated with this project, RFS is unsurprisingly not yet firmly fixed. However, we have been assured the cable will be ready sometime between 2020 and 2022. We look forward to tracking the progress of this great new project!


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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