Q&A with Rafael Arranz, Chief Operating Officer, Telxius

Q&A with Rafael Arranz,Telxius COO Cable business

28 October 2019 | Sponsored Content

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Telxius COO Cable business, Rafael Arranz speaks to Capacity about tower assets for 5G, their growth and recent partnerships, some of the current projects and the strategic priorities for the coming year.

1. What have been the key drivers of the Telxius growth over the last three years, including the increased portfolio of assets?

Regarding the cable business, Telxius has been committed to increasing global connectivity across the Atlantic and in the LATAM region since its founding and has already made great strides in this regard. Participation in the Pacific Caribbean Cable System, the construction of the SAm-1 cable ring, and now BRUSA and MAREA have done a great deal to connect LATAM with North America, Europe, Africa and beyond, ultimately providing the region with greater access to the world economy.

Telxius’ recent project, BRUSA, has opened up new possibilities for two of the largest economies in America, the United States and Brazil.

Recently we have announced the deployment of a new ultrahigh capacity undersea cable in the Pacific coast of Latin America, as part of a collaborative partnership. This new cable will have an initial estimated capacity of 108 Tbps combined with the lowest latency connection between Guatemala and Chile.  Together with our transatlantic cable, MAREA, these projects offer diverse paths to network hubs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Since Telxius was created we have had the opportunity to collaborate with OTTs such as Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, traditional Telcos like Telia and América Móvil and vertical key players such as DE-CIX, QTS, Equinix and Sigfox, among others. Telxius has also become one of the founders of the Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee (IEIC), officially formed to stimulate innovation, regional economies and Internet infrastructure growth globally. 

Through these efforts, Telxius is contributing to the growth of a worldwide infrastructure ecosystem integrated by submarine fiber, towers, data centers, terrestrial fiber and content providers, making ultrahigh capacity communications available to leading enterprises and clouds, and creating opportunities to connect people, continents and businesses from both sides of the Atlantic. 

2. Can you give us an update on your MAREA cable? In particular, MAREA landing in SPAIN (Sopelana, connecting with Marseille). What opportunities does this new landing create?

MAREA boasts a capacity up to 200 Tbps and is the highest capacity live submarine cable in the world.  There is no other infrastructure in the world capable of transporting this amount of data or that is so perfectly positioned to deal with increasing market requirements driven by things such as virtual reality, IoT, and artificial intelligence. Its landing stations in Bilbao (Spain) and Virginia Beach (US) are two key connectivity points with the United States, Africa, the Middle East and Asia and provide access to one of the most dense concentration of data centers in the world, located in the Ashburn area (Virginia), with over 75 data centres and housing more than 3,000 technology companies.

With MAREA, through our landing station in Sopelana (Spain), our customers have access to the main hub cities in Europe, including Marseille, Paris and Frankfurt. While Marseille is a major subsea cable hotspot in the Mediterranean, all three are within the top ten hub cities in the world as ranked by international capacity. Marseille provides a gateway to other relevant markets such as MENA and APAC and the facility opens a door into Europe and beyond that effectively extends the benefits of the MAREA system. MAREA is uniquely suited to deliver massive capacity with ultra low latency. At the moment, MAREA’s 200 Tbps transmission capacity equals that of the top five hub cities in the world.[1]

Some breaking news: Telxius is set to launch a purpose-built, interconnection-rich, communications hub in Derio (Bilbao). Strategically located in the north of Spain, it is only a few kilometers away from subsea cable MAREA’s landing point. The Derio hub has been developed to respond to the growing demand of latest generation communication services with the lowest latency and highest capacity ever deployed between America and Europe:  that of subsea cable MAREA. Its open architecture has been designed to ensure that every carrier, hyperscaler, cloud and content provider is able to benefit from its offerings.

With 2,000 sqm and up to 4 mw of power, the Derio facility will be carrier neutral and specified as a TIER III, representing the newest innovative design in subsea cable infrastructure. The facility offers the unique combination of being an expanded cable landing station (CLS) with advanced cable transmission capabilities as well as a fully-fledged international PoP.  Joining these strengths in this purpose-built, ready-to-operate infrastructure effectively means a “one-stop shop” for a wide range of cable services as close to the ultrahigh-capacity transatlantic MAREA subsea cable as one can possibly be.

With rich interconnection as a main feature by design, this brand-new infrastructure maps Spain as a strategic communications port linking the Americas, Europe and beyond and connecting securely and dynamically to important international hubs such as Marseille, Paris, London and Frankfurt.  

3. As we know the BRUSA system is the first direct route connecting Virginia to Brazil, bypassing the Caribbean. What does this route mean for the market in LATAM?

Telxius’ recent project, BRUSA, opened for business one year ago, is the highest capacity subsea cable connecting the Americas and the second highest capacity submarine cable in the world boasting capacity of 138 Tbps. BRUSA connects Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), with Fortaleza (Brazil), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Virginia Beach (USA), providing the first direct route between Brazil and Virginia Beach, USA. This direct route bypasses landing stations in the Caribbean area, increasing the security and speed of the connection. The proximity to Ashburn, VA, home to the largest concentration of data centers in the world, paired with the cable’s high capacity, provides the lowest latency route between Brazil and the U.S., opening up a significant opportunity for business growth in the LATAM region.

This 11,000 km cable is truly an impressive feat for global connectivity.  It has eight fiber pairs and lands at four different sites in Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, San Juan, and Virginia Beach greatly increasing the connectivity between Brazil, Puerto Rico, and the United States, ultimately providing these regions with enhanced access to the world economy.   

4. At ITW 2019, Telxius announced the launch of a new cable on the Pacific Coast of Latin America in collaboration with América Móvil. What were the key drivers of that partnership?

América Móvil and Telxius are collaborating to boost communication services in the Pacific Latin American region through a brand-new submarine cable.  The new ultrahigh capacity undersea cable will have an initial capacity of 108 Tbps, with six fiber pairs and the lowest latency from Guatemala to Chile.  As a result, the 7,300 km cable will serve the entire Pacific coast of South America with the highest levels of service, reliability and security.

This will be the first undersea cable since 2001 to connect Puerto San José (Guatemala) with Valparaíso (Chile), as well as additional landing points in Salinas (Ecuador), Lurín (Peru) and Arica (Chile).  Telxius is committed to offering the best service to customers, with the latest technology and lowest latency, to serve partners and customers in key markets in Latin America and to improve global communications.  The submarine cable will be operational by the end of 2020.

5. As we head into 2020, what are the strategic priorities for the company?

Telxius is operating in a very dynamic and exciting market.  Our plan is to keep innovating and expanding our network to boost international connectivity and increase the reliability of global communications.  Operating a broad cable and tower portfolio gives us the opportunity to better serve our customers and partners with all the possibilities that interconnection provides, reaching more geographies faster, with the lowest latencies and most diversified state-of-the-art services.   You will see us continuing to collaborate with key industry players from OTTs, telcos and technology companies to reinforce our market position and continue boosting our portfolio, always adapting our offer to the needs of our customers.

At Telxius, we have a continued commitment to improve the existing communications infrastructure, connect more geographies, partner with more and new strategic players and contribute to the development and enrichment of both new and existing communication hubs globally.