Exclusive: Telefónica CEO reveals BRUSA cable opportunities

15 March 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


Telefónica has announced further details of its 11,000km submarine cable that aims to link Brazil and the US, and is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2018.

Brusa

Capacity spoke to Juan Revilla, CEO of Telefónica’s Wholesale Business Unit and found out what opportunities will arise from its BRUSA cable, including how it will be opened up to third parties.

The deployment of BRUSA will link Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (Brazil), with San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Virginia Beach (US), helping to provide one of the lowest latency communication links between the two countries.

BRUSA will be open to third parties

BRUSA, which will become part of Telefónica’s recently created global infrastructure company, Telxius, will support ultrafast transmission capacity and to increase end-to-end connectivity and the availability of ultra high-speed broadband services.

Revilla adds to Capacity: “We will be opening the cable to supply the industry with relevant capacity earmarked for commercialisation with third parties, as well as serving the internal needs of the Telefónica Group.”

Traffic evolution and opportunities

Revilla has informed Capacity that Telefónica had been planning BRUSA for more than a year: “We have been monitoring traffic evolution and market opportunities to establish the right moment to release it. As an important service provider in the region we are always observing traffic trends.”

Telefónica has already established infrastructure across the Americas, with the deployments of the SAM-1 cable (25,000km) and its latest, the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS). “As we see these trends continue to grow rapidly and with the recent acquisition of GVT by Telefónica, we determined it was the appropriate time to deploy additional infrastructure, as such, we committed the internal resources last year to complete the Supply Agreement and launch construction, ,” Revilla added.

“This was a watershed moment for Telefónica and the group involved in the project.”

BRUSA to ease Puerto Rican demand

Another opportunity highlighted by the launch of BRUSA will be the demand in the Puerto Rican market.

Although Puerto Rico today is well supported by submarine cables, most were built in the early decade of the 21st century and it is becoming clear that as demand grows, new and better technology is needed to support this growth, Revilla says to Capacity.

“The last cable system that landed in Puerto Rico was also built by Telefónica with a consortium of operators in 2014, this was the PCCS,” says Revilla. “An additional key factor is that all the existing cable system infrastructure lands in Florida, USA, and Telefónica believes that it is important to provide another landing point to the US to support network diversity requirements for local and other Caribbean operators.

Puerto Rico will be connected to BRUSA via a PoP connection at San Juan.

Competition threat

Capacity asked Revilla if he thought the Seaborn Networks’ Seabras-1 cable, which will also link Brazil and the US and is being readied for service in Q2 2017, will impact the demand for the BRUSA cable when it goes operational in 2018.

Revilla responded by stating exhaustive analysis as to the demand growth projection to the region had been executed. “Based on this knowledge and our internal needs into the near future, as such we do not consider that the presence of additional infrastructure will impact demand for the BRUSA cable,” he added.

“We are confident that our customers will support the Telefónica BRUSA cable, as we have demonstrated with the SAM-1 and PCCS cables our continued commitment to provide them with outstanding customer service, with excellent quality and high availability.

BRUSA cable design

Telefónica has selected the optimum cable configuration to guarantee at the same time maximum capacity for initial deployment with existing QPSK modulations; and the possibility of taking advantage of future 8QAM modulations when available without compromising initial performance. The system is designed to support coherent modulations taking full advantage of C Band with power tuneable amplifiers.

Telefónica’s global fibre footprint

Telefónica’s global fibre optic network consists of more than 65,000km (of which 31,000km relates to proprietary submarine fibre optic cable) connecting the US, the Americas and Europe.

Capacity Latam is being held on 15 & 16 March 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil