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Facebook and Microsoft finish laying transatlantic cable

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In the space of just over 12 months Facebook and Microsoft have completed the laying of a new transatlantic cable, which they are claiming is the highest capacity transatlantic cable to date; shifting 160 terabits per second.

To give you an idea of how impressive this cable is, consider this- it will have enough bandwidth to stream 71 million HD videos at the same time….
Shifting 160 terabits per second, the new cable will have enough bandwidth to stream 71 million HD videos at the same time
(Image via Microsoft)

The cable is the result of a joint partnership between Microsoft, Facebook and the telecoms infrastructure company Telxius and is expected to become fully operational by early 2018.

Named ‘Marea’, which is Spanish for ‘tide’, the cable lies 17,000ft below the ocean surface and stretches 4,000 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. 
The cable lies 17,000ft below the ocean surface and stretches 4000 miles from the US to Europe
(Image via Microsoft)

Commenting on the project, Brad Smith President of Microsoft said:

“Marea comes at a critical time. Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase and Marea will provide a critical connection for the United States, Spain, and beyond.”
The cable has been named 'Marea' which is Spanish for 'tide'
(Image via Microsoft)

With the world of telecoms changing radically, with more and more devices becoming connected and data usage skyrocketing amongst consumers, the need for higher capacity transatlantic cables has never been greater.

Such a view is reflected by Rafael Arranz, chief operating officer for Telxius who said:

“All of these applications, especially everything that is driven by video, consume a huge amount of bandwidth. So everybody needs to be connected with a high-volume, high-bandwidth infrastructure. With its unique route, this cable is going to be able to absorb and deliver back-and-forth traffic to strengthen communications, not just across the Atlantic, but across the globe.”

The cable will serve what has become an increasingly important route for cross-border data flows between the United States and Europe. Transatlantic data flows are expected to continue growing as more consumers use mobile smart devices to access the internet. By 2018, 93 percent of US mobile devices and 83 percent of Western Europe’s mobile devices will be smart devices, according to a study by Brookings.

If you’re looking for your next role in telecoms, register your CV with Fircroft today.
Tags: ICT
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Facebook and Microsoft finish laying transatlantic cable - Time to read 2 min
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