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11 July 2017
| James Pearce
GlobeNet expects Colombia to follow Brazil as next focus for investment in Latin America, Rodolfo Lopez Stanic tells James Pearce
GlobeNet has identified Colombia as what it thinks will
become the second anchor point for the Latin American wholesale
market after Brazil.
Traffic in Latin America is growing significantly, but for
most subsea cable systems, Brazil is the key location.
Seabras-1, SACS, BRUSA, and Monet are all among recent cables
either in development or already launched that land in
As demand for connectivity in the region grows, there is a
need to establish a second hub, and GlobeNet chief commercial
officer Rodolfo Lopez Stanic claims that will be in
"Clearly Brazil is the hub site for the Latin American
region and we’ve seen a lot of carriers
approaching it this way, including new players like
over-the-top (OTT) companies," he explains. "Big companies like
Netflix or Akamai see Brazil as a good place to store their
content, the first anchor into the Latam market. From there,
they can jump into other countries, and this is a huge trend we
"Brazil will continue to be the star in the market for a
couple of years more, but we see new countries being added to
this. We see Colombia as the most likely country to become a
Colombia already has high connectivity, but it is the
relative stability of the country that makes it an appealing
destination for carriers.
Latin America’s third biggest economy, this
stability has seen Colombia’s middle class on the
rise, climbing from 16% of the population in 2002 to 27% in
2011. Growth in 2014 was 4.8% – higher than any other
country in the region. A country once living in the shadow of
Pablo Escobar has found new confidence, according to analysis
in the UK’s Daily Telegraph.
"The economic situation [in Colombia] has been pretty steady
recently, although I think it is competing with Argentina
because it is a similar sized market," adds Lopez when he spoke
to Capacity about GlobeNet’s
"Argentina has seen some turmoil over the last few years but
is now seeing some stability, which will see a lot of big
players also cast their gaze on Argentina. But the second
country in our view will be Colombia."
Colombia is a natural fit for telecoms carriers as it has
long been seen as a gateway into the Americas. For GlobeNet,
that has led it to launch a new data centre in
This data centre is a new type of venture for GlobeNet, he
explains. It will not just contain traditional carrier traffic,
but also offer a host of new services.
"We set out a plan last year to build a data centre in
Colombia. We expect the build to be finished in August and
everything is on track. The fact is that we are pretty amazed
at the demand that we have seen in Colombia for this kind of
"It will not just be used for interconnection –
this is a full data centre, far beyond the traditional data
centres we have developed," he said.
"This will include a wide range of services. What we have
developed is a basic data centre but also we have followed the
value-add chain around hosting and equipment."
The facility in Barranquilla will be a 200 square metre
upgradeable Tier III data centre offering major integrators the
opportunity to offer their sensitive customers a secure and
resilient environment diverse from those currently on
It will be adjacent to the company's existing subsea cable
landing station, and will support GlobeNet's full suite of
Infratructure as a Serice (IaaS) products.
The key reason for this data centre though? Colombia is a
gateway to the Americas, but not just the Eastern, Atlantic
countries – it can also act as a path to the western
part of the Latin American market.
In Capacity’s April/May 2017 issue, operators
highlighted the slower development of subsea cable
systems in the Pacific, with the main reason given being
due to smaller populations. For Lopez, this will not always be
"The Atlantic has been the main focus for carriers in the
Latam region, but as that focus moves on to the Pacific,
Colombia will play a major role in that development.
"Some years ago, countries like Ecuador and Peru were not so
developed from a technology perspective, but after significant
economic development, they are becoming more attractive markets
for carriers and OTTs," he says.
"Chile is a slight exception – it has enjoyed a
stable economy for a number of years, but most of those links
are served by routes running from Argentina to Chile."
With the common pattern in most regions seeing a growth in
data demand as economies and political situations stabilise,
GlobeNet will hope it is perfectly position in that part of