LIME to link Cuba and Jamaica

11 March 2011 |


The Caribbean arm of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), which trades under the LIME brand, is to build a new subsea cable connecting the Caribbean arm of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC), which trades under the LIME brand, is to build a new subsea cable connecting Venezuela, Cuba and Jamaica.

Built in partnership with Telecommunicaciones Gran Caribe (TGC), made up of Cuba’s Transbit SA and Venezuela’s Telecom Venezuela, the cable will run from Puerto de la Guaira in Venezuela to Santiago in Cuba and on to LIME’s landing station in Jamaica.

The 240km undersea cable will be the first international cable connection to Cuba for several decades and should stimulate an increase in telecoms and internet activity in the country, said CWC. Cuba currently relies on satellite capacity for all its international connectivity. The new cable’s high bandwidth is predicted to provide Cuba with download speeds up to 3,000 times faster than satellite and lower the cost of international phone calls.

Martin Fijman, MD of carrier services for LIME said: “This will help Cuba’s economic development and ensure that it can meet its telecoms growth. The improvement of Cuba’s telecommunication infrastructure is a positive development.” As part of the agreement, CWC will also carry voice and data traffic from Cuba to Europe.

Wally Swain, an analyst with Yankee Group said: “This partnership gives TGC legitimacy since it has been viewed as merely a solidarity project between countries. It shows they can do business with major carriers.” Swain said that while the new cable should lower the costs of backhaul and broaden access, the overall impact will depend on the Cuban government: “The Cuban government seems aware that it has to open its economy and this cable will facilitate that,” he added.

LIME has also recently completed the installation of its East-West undersea cable system connecting Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. This completes a Caribbean ‘network ring’, considered a significant advance for the region.