Q&A Interview: Rafael Arranz, Telxius - Latam Connectivity

New generation subsea infrastructure to make communications in Latam thrive

26 April 2021 | Jason McGee-Abe

Cover

With Capacity Latam 2021 upon us, we heard from Rafael Arranz, Chief Operating Officer at Telxius Cable Business, about the Tannat and Mistral cables, partnerships, Covid-19 impacts, and what's on the horizon at Telxius

Q. Recently you have announced that the submarine cable Tannat, connecting Santos and Las Toninas, is open for business. Tell us more about how this new addition to your portfolio will boost connectivity in the Latam region.

With the global increase in demand for reliable, high capacity network connectivity, providing robust and diverse network solutions is key for enterprise customers to be able to respond effectively to today’s evolving digital requirements. Telxius has always been committed to offering the best connectivity in Latin América through state-of-the-art network developments and alliances. Recently, we have announced that the new Tannat submarine cable (Santos, Brazil - Las Toninas, Argentina) is open for business. Combined with Junior (Rio de Janeiro – Santos) and Brusa (Virginia Beach – Rio de Janeiro), this 2,000 kilometer new generation system completes the most modern and diverse connectivity route between Latin America and the U.S.

Brusa, in service since 2018, offers the highest capacity available to date for the interconnection of the Americas and is one of the highest capacity subsea cables in the world. It connects Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza in Brazil, San Juan in Puerto Rico and Virginia Beach, U.S. via an 11,000 km, ultra-low-latency submarine cable. The Virginia Beach cable landing station provides direct access to the Marea and Dunant subsea cables, creating a global loop that connects South America, the U.S., Europe and beyond. SAm-1, the 25,000 km subsea cable ring that surrounds Latin America provides additional route diversity.

Q. On the Pacific coast of Latin America, the SPSC/Mistral submarine cable has recently landed in Peru, when do you expect this cable to be finished?

We are expecting to have the SPSC/Mistral ready for service by mid 2021. This revolutionary system, a project with America Móvil, runs along the Latin American Pacific coast linking up Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Chile via 7,300 kilometers of state-of-the-art fiber optic submarine cable. It has been designed as an infrastructure capable of evolving at the same rate as technology, enabling communications for the growing demand for Internet, data and content services in Latin America with the highest levels of reliability and security and the lowest latency available between Guatemala and Chile.

This new Mistral cable, in combination with Junior, Brusa, and Tannat, allows Telxius to offer outstanding diverse and robust subsea network routes throughout Latin America and connects the region to the U.S. and beyond. By providing essential infrastructure with these new generation systems, Telxius enables Latin America to meet today’s enterprise needs by ensuring that the region can fully participate in the global digital economy.

Q. In what ways are you ensuring that your technology will be able to deliver against the requirements of today’s global enterprise users beyond what you are doing in LATAM?

With the rapid increase in demand for reliable network connectivity, Telxius remains committed to enabling communications that allow enterprises to operate and connect globally via one of the world’s largest submarine cable networks, featuring more than 90,000 km in 2021. As a result of increased infrastructure developments and new collaborations, the Telxius network successfully links the US, Latin America, Europe and beyond, meeting the future needs of global cloud, enterprise and third-party operators.

A good example is the company’s outstanding transatlantic proposition. Marea and Dunant together feature one of the lowest latency and highest capacity diverse routes globally allowing customers to benefit from Telxius’ extensive footprint, network capabilities and range of services. Directly connecting Ashburn, Richmond and Virginia Beach in the U.S. to Paris, Madrid and Derio (Bilbao) in Europe, these two systems provide direct access to areas with the largest concentration of data centers in the world, offering a state-of-the-art, diverse route across the Atlantic.

The Derio Communications Hub located near Bilbao, Spain, offers additional options for carriers, hyperscalers, cloud and content providers looking to benefit from Telxius’ global network ecosystem. Recently Telia Carrier announced the launch of a new Point-of-Presence at Derio, enhancing their fiber backbone and connectivity for customers seeking gateway access to a completely new and diverse path from the Americas to Europe with low latency and high capacity between the two continents.

In the U.S., in addition to directly connecting Virginia Beach with the key data center hubs in Ashburn, Telxius has also connected cables to important data centers like phoenixNAP and QTS Richmond NAP, allowing for a better service offering in these areas and adding points of presence to our global network.

Q. What new partnerships and services have you brought on to enrich Telxius’ ever expanding global network?

Telxius has recently taken another step to strengthen its transatlantic proposition with two important agreements. One with Interxion to enable direct interconnection for the Dunant subsea cable at Interxion Paris, one of the world’s leading digital business hubs. Another with Ciena, to offer a highly flexible managed spectrum service on Marea and Dunant, offering customers tailored virtual fiber pairs suited to their needs.

In addition to these agreements, new services such as the recently launched Telxius DNS, elevate our offering to our customers. The new DNS offers extensive coverage in both Europe and Latin America, featuring high-speed resolution of DNS queries with minimal latency. Integrated with Telxius’ Internet Transit and Global Carrier Ethernet, it also includes security and content filtering functionalities that can be customised for each customer.

Q. The COVID-19 global pandemic changed the world in countless ways. What did this mean for Telxius in 2020?

The last year has been full of unexpected challenges on a global scale due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The enormous impact it had on the global economy led to increased requirements for network infrastructure and accelerated digital transformation. Over 2020, the critical role that global connectivity plays in helping economies and communities live with as little interruption to business as possible has become clear. The demand for reliable, high capacity networks has continued to grow. Driven by the rapid increase of demand that has come because of Covid-19, network traffic on our subsea cables increased dramatically throughout the year.

At Telxius, we responded to this rapid increase in demand by increasing the provision of capacity on our submarine cables and significantly accelerating the provisioning time on our IP ports.  Early measures in place allowed us to guarantee a continuity of services for our customers and partners.  Of course, safety in workplaces and communities was also top of mind for us and we therefore rapidly initiated a Global Contingency Plan. This completely virtual and unprecedented form of management of our Network Operation Centers (NOCs) and service centers is the result of the exhaustive preparation work carried out beforehand to adequately address this type of unexpected situation. With 97% of the people in our teams working remotely, their quick response was key to ensure that customers continued to have access to content and communications throughout the pandemic.

In all, Telxius played a vital role in enabling the necessary digital infrastructure that kept people and businesses connected during the pandemic. The contingency measures that we had in place, combined with the planned infrastructure expansions, and key industry partnerships, meant that Telxius was able to thrive despite an extraordinarily difficult year.

Q. As we look towards the remainder of 2021 and beyond, what is on the horizon for Telxius?

As we look ahead at Telxius, we remain completely focused on the company’s mission of enabling communication for content providers, global enterprise and third-party operators with state-of-the-art low latency, robust networks, facilitating the continuity and advancement of the global economy. As global network traffic continues to surge upwards driven by new technologies such as 5G and AI, and the increased reliance on cloud-based applications and connectivity, Telxius continues to expand and evolve its network infrastructure. As a neutral global infrastructure operator, we continue to work in close collaboration with our customers by offering flexible solutions, entering collaborative partnerships within the industry and enabling communications globally that meet the evolving infrastructure needs of a wide range of industries and verticals.

For more information on Telxius and our latest projects, please visit our website. You can also learn more by following Telxius on LinkedIn and connecting with Rafael here.