21 October 2016
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
Facebook and Microsoft have selected TE SubCom as its supply partner for their new 6,600km trans-Atlantic MAREA submarine cable system.
The tech giants announced in May that they had teamed up to build the system the firms claim “will be the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic with speeds of 160Tbps". The system is set to feature eight fibre-pairs and is being constructed “to be interoperable with a wide variety of network equipment”.
TE SubCom has completed the route survey for the system, which will stretch from Virginia Beach in the US to Bilbao, Spain, and has begun manufacturing at its facility in Newington, New Hampshire. The subsidiary of TE Connectivity says it is on track to commence laying cable using its own installation ships next year, with a scheduled completion date of October 2017.
"We're pleased to work with TE SubCom to advance state-of-the-art transoceanic fibre connections," said Frank Rey, director of global network acquisition at Microsoft Corp.
“This is one example of how Microsoft collaborates with industry leaders to drive innovation and build the next generation infrastructure of the internet. MAREA will offer better connections to users in Europe and beyond.”
Aaron Stucki, president of TE SubCom, added: "Being named the installation partner for the ground-breaking MAREA cable system further strengthens our position as a leading supplier of the world's most reliable fibre-optic cable systems. We look forward to working with Microsoft and Facebook on what will be a highly advanced and scalable new system."
Last month, TE SubCom started production of the 14,000km Hawaiki trans-Pacific cable system that is scheduled for completion in mid-2018. Facebook is also working with TE SubCom and Google in the Pacific to build the 12,800km Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), set to run between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, an ultra-high capacity transmission route set to offer 120Tbps.