Seaborn Networks CEO Larry Schwartz has identified a stronger focus on rolling out new subsea cables connecting transit points, rather than traffic endpoints, as a key emerging strategy for the firm over the next ten years.
Speaking to Telecom Times on the sidelines of the Submarine Networks World event in Singapore, Schwartz said over the next five to ten years he expected to see new routes materializing, which rather than merely replacing existing routes, would result in greater recognition of the value of establishing new links between Points A and Z.
“For example, we have a project called SABR, which is our planned build from northeast Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa,” Schwartz said. “The purpose of that is, [while] there is not a lot of traffic between those two locations as end-points, as transit points to pull traffic from east Africa, southern India, and the Middle East, [for players] looking for a diverse path between east coast US and those regions of the world, we think it’s a compelling solution.”
Schwartz noted that the manner in which systems were built in the past, for instance in the case of the South America region, differed significantly from current practice. “Back in the late 1990s, when the prior generation of cables were built for the region, there was a greater focus on building sort of a complete ring around South America,” he said. “That’s what Sam-1 was for Telefónica and what SAC was for – then – Global Crossing.”
“It seems intuitively obvious to say that different routes have different growth rates, and different existing demand needs,” the Seaborn Networks chief exec continued. “This next generation of systems that we have built, and others have built in the region, don’t talk about a ring around South America, because the reality is the west coast of South America has a lower demand need than the east coast.”
Schwartz said that while across the industry there were some plans for the west coast, these were ultimately reliant on relevant levels of demand.
“I think there’s a better understanding today of what the [actual] traffic patterns, the capacity needs, and the routes are,” he said.