Q&A with Rafael Arranz, COO of Telxius

12 March 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

Rafael Arranz, chief operating officer of Telxius, talks to Capacity about the recent updates on the MAREA and BRUSA cables plus the opportunities he sees in the Latin American market.

Can you give us an overall update of Telxius’s main achievements over the last 12 months?

In the last 12 months Telxius has opened for business the two highest capacity cables in the world, MAREA and BRUSA, which have become two key assets for global communications in terms of low latency and communications reliability. We are increasingly collaborating with companies wanting ultrafast transmission capacity to carry high speed transatlantic and intercontinental communications. For example, we have recently signed an IRU agreement with Amazon for them to use a fibre-pair on MAREA.

The cables terminate in the MAREA and BRUSA Virginia Beach landing station and connect to main data centers in the US in the Ashburn and Richmond areas. This will allow for unmatched speed and savings for enterprises and hyperscalers with international connectivity requirements. Virginia Beach is now the only transatlantic cable landing station in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the US, a digital port that ships data at the highest speed all around the world.

Back in December Telxius announced that it had increased transmission speeds on the MAREA cable to 400G. What is the significance of this cable enhancement to the end user?

Achievements like this enable our customers to take full advantage of the very latest technological developments. The telecom infrastructure sector has been undergoing a rapid transformation and requires innovative cable projects like MAREA and BRUSA to make the evolution of communications and the availability of next-generation services possible.

The need for network quality and efficiency and an increased focus on customer experience have made the wholesale business shift to a more innovative approach. Transmission of 400Gbps over MAREA demonstrates its high potential to innovate regarding transmission capacity thanks to its open architecture. Other innovative developments point at better spectral efficiency, like the increase of MAREA’s capacity from the initial 160Tbps to 200Tbps only a few months after being opened for business.

 What about Latin America, what are the key Telxius’ developments in the region during the last year?

One of our main priorities last year was building and deploying BRUSA, which is now the highest capacity subsea cable connecting the Americas.

BRUSA represents one of our largest infrastructural asset investments in the last decade that will contribute to increase connectivity and reliability of communications in the Latin American region, expanding our network and the availability of broadband services.

With landing points in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza), Puerto Rico and Virginia Beach (USA), BRUSA opens up a wide range of connectivity opportunities from Latin America to the US and to Europe via MAREA.

How is Telxius capitalising on its partnerships with OTTs in the subsea space?

We have extensively developed our relationship with over-the-tops (OTTs) over the last few years, in fact, they have become a key contributor to Telxius’ growth over that time. Telxius is the perfect partner to enable OTTs to expand their networks and we are establishing long-term collaboration agreements with them. For example, we have developed MAREA, the highest capacity submarine cable in the world, together with Facebook and Microsoft, and as I mentioned earlier we have we have recently reached an agreement with Amazon for them to use a fibre-pair of this cable. Both have been fruitful deals and we expect to keep establishing these types of relationships in the future.

Have you noticed any change in the wholesale demand during the last 12 months? How is Telxius facing this trend?

There is definitely a growing trend in terms of improving connectivity in response to market demands. Data consumption and traffic have grown significantly in the latest years and will continue to grow as The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are every day more present in our daily lives. Our mission as Telxius is to provide state of the art infrastructure to enable the most advanced communication services. This is what we are doing with MAREA and BRUSA, which are now a key part of the high-tech infrastructure sector including submarine fibre, terrestrial fibre, data centers and clouds. This hyper-sector can only contribute to enable growth, investment and plenty of opportunities for people and businesses globally.

Global data traffic is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025, and most of the related data will reside in the cloud and data centers, arriving there via submarine cable. Main data centers in the Virginia area are already serving their international customers with the highest capacity and lowest latency via MAREA and BRUSA.

What are your strategic priorities for Europe in 2019 and what announcements can we expect from Telxius in the region this year? 

In 2019, Telxius will keep highly focused on enabling the lowest latency communications to enterprises globally. Expanding MAREA’s high capacity benefits to inland Europe and beyond will be a priority in 2019. The same for BRUSA in Central America and South America.

Check out our newest interactive map to see Telxius network in detail.