Aqua Comms: Built to Boom

Aqua Comms: Built to Boom

28 August 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Last we spoke, Aqua Comms chief commercial officer Chris Bayly spoke to us about how the company continues to thrive in this new Covid-19 world.

Though many additional demands have been placed on the global subsea industry, Aqua Comms has taken to these changes with ease, decisiveness and efficiency.

At the time Bayly shared: “We actually designed Aqua Comms to be a ‘remotely working’ organisation – with a distributed workforce and a lot of expected displacement of employees due to development and project activity.” 

“We were thus able to adapt quickly and efficiently to the new realities largely because we already had robust operational processes and procedures in place.”

A true carriers’ carrier, Aqua Comms focuses currently on subsea systems in the North Atlantic and enabling Trans-Atlantic connectivity for carriers, cloud providers, data centres, IT companies, and OTTs.

With a portfolio of systems that includes America Europe Connect- 2 (AEC-2) , its portion of the Havfrue consortium cable, CeltixConnect-2 (CC-2), and North Sea Connect (NSC) these specific cables form the North Atlantic Loop – a ring-based, dual-path network that delivers robust connectivity between the US, Ireland, and Europe.

Network coverage aside, one of the key distinctions between Aqua Comms and its competitors is its managed outsource model or as Aqua Comms’ chief network officer Andy Hudson puts it: “Unlike our competitors, our focal point lies in being a subsea carriers’ carrier through the outsourced model that we offer.”

Using this model, Aqua Comms is able to bundle its core products with professional services, delivering financial and operational efficiencies, particularly for organisations in the telecoms space, that are flexible, secure and reliable with high network and service availability standards.

The full suite of services that Aqua Comms offers includes the planning, installation and supply of fibre pairs, spectrum, and capacity services. Underscoring these types of services are a number of procedures that ensure delivery times are met as well as providing the highest levels of customer experience.

An example is Celtic Norse, a new cable development between Norway and Ireland that will be partnering with Aqua Comms to benefit from the aforementioned financial and operational efficiencies available through our outsourced operating model.

“We’ve got a NOC, we’ve got engineers, we’ve got capabilities, we’ve got insurances and, a whole range of things,” said Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms.

“Celtic Norse will not try to build an operation like Aqua Comms, we’re not competing, which is why we are working with them,” added Erling Aronsveen CEO of Celtic Norse.

According to Hudson, the recent pandemic has meant infrastructure and networks have begun to stretch their capacity in order to accommodate the increased bandwidth requirements.

Aqua Comms however reinforced its network to ensure uptime and the business continuity of its customers. “At the outset of the pandemic, the Aqua Comms team worked quickly and effectively to establish that our supply chain would be unaffected and this proved to be the case,” said Bayly to Capacity. “This included our core equipment vendors as well as our managed outsourced functions, including our NOC.”

Other winning factors that drive Aqua Comms’ value in the marketplace is the service reliability of its subsea systems, its future-proof network, knowledgeable team, and its efficient processes.

Leveraging new technologies such as Ciena's WaveLogic 5 Extreme has enabled Aqua Comms to deliver 20Tbps along its various subsea routes. At the same time, it will accelerate delivery lead times, create a flexible product set, improve cost optimisation, and enable its customers to cater to increasing consumer demands.

With AEC-2, CC-2 and NSC due to come into service later this year Aqua Comms’ Bayly confirmed thatthe vessels delivering segments of these cables continued to work throughout the main international lock-down period, being at sea, loaded with fuel and provisions and having the cable onboard for deployment.”

All in Hudson says its “exciting times for us with three new systems going live over the next few months and we have plans for continued growth in these new systems”.

Back in June, Bayliff took part in Virtual International Telecoms Week (ITW) session Community: Subsea, where he perfectly surmised the North Atlantic subsea market and the opportunities that exist saying: “There has been an on-off market in the Atlantic for a long time but it is a high growth market with enormous growth curves driven by everything: every piece of data, every social media activity needs to drive itself across that ocean between the North American and European powerhouses.”

Through Agility. Ability. Survivability, Aqua Comms is poised to maximise on them all.