New submarine route goes live in the upcoming weeks, reducing latency, data travel time between two points, and benefiting telecoms, financial operations and online gaming platforms
Invited by EllaLink, the telecommunications company that has just inaugurated the first high-capacity undersea fiber optic cable directly connecting Brazil to Europe, the governor of Ceará, Camilo Santana, the state secretary for Economic Development and Labor, Maia Júnior, and Inácio Arruda, the state secretary for Science, Technology and Higher Education (SECITECE), today visited the Cable Landing Station (CLS) facilities — anchoring point for EllaLink cables — located on Praia do Futuro, in the state capital of Ceará.
During the visit, EllaLink’s Brazil director Rafael Lozano showed Governor Santana and the two secretaries, all of EllaLink’s technological support infrastructure to monitor data traffic between the two continents. EllaLink’s CSL is housed in the facilities of Telxius, a partner company that also monitors other submarine cables that leave Fortaleza – with 14 cables, the capital of Ceará is the world’s largest hub for fiber optic connections.
With a capacity of 100 terabits per second (Tbps), the EllaLink cable represents the opening of the first direct high-capacity connection route to Europe – until June, when it went into operation, all the latest-generation fiber optic submarine cable connections between the two continents mostly passed through the United States. Overall, there are 6 thousand kilometres of cables between Fortaleza and Sines, in Portugal, under the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The cables contain four pairs of optical fibre — each fibre is the thickness of a strand of hair.
“It is an immense pleasure for us, at EllaLink, to make this direct connection from Brazil to Europe available, without depending on the United States, uniting two very close cultures, such as Brazilian and Portuguese, and also Latin America with Spain,” said Lozano. “The new cable makes it possible to reduce latency, as it is called the response time in data transmission, by up to 50%, benefiting not only digital businesses (cloud services, electronic banking, entertainment media and online games), but also scientific research,” added the EllaLink director.
Governor Camilo Santana highlighted the private investment of 1 billion reais that allowed the EllaLink cable to come into operation. “It has great importance for data and voice transmission at a time when the pandemic has accelerated the need for data connection worldwide,” said the governor of Ceará.
Santana recalled the strategic importance of Fortaleza in the area of digital connection and said that his government is investing more. “We have launched the Ceará Conectado programme, which will democratise access to the internet and transform the state into a technological hub,” he said.
The governor of Ceará recalled that, after the arrival of the EllaLink cable, the government is now negotiating with Amazon the creation of a Data Center in the capital of Ceará. “We do not want to be just a receiver and transmitter of large amounts of data, we want large technology and information companies to be present here in Ceará and, for this we need to invest in training IT professionals”, he stressed.
The CLS that was visited by the governor and entourage serves as a hub for connecting the EllaLink cable to both sides of the Atlantic, extending data transmission from the Ceará capital to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, and from Sines to Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille, on the European side.
Today, 426 undersea fibre-optic cables span a mesh of 1.6 million kilometres on the world’s oceans. The rapid development of digital technology, which increasingly favours the transmission of large amounts of data with low latency and the use of cloud computing, has led the industry giants Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon to invest more than $20 billion in recent years to build their own fibre optic submarine cables to meet the demand for more bandwidth to transmit their data.
One of the beneficiaries of the new EllaLink cable is the BELLA Consortium (Building the Europe Link to Latin America), formed by European and Latin American research and education communities, which needed a fibre optic network that could support the transmission of large amounts of data with low latency to exchange information and studies on various topics, such as climate change.
Ellalink’s anchor customer, BELLA is formed by the academic networks of Europe (Géant) and Latin America (RedCLARA). The new route of the EllaLink cable will be the key for the scientific community of the two continents. Several major scientific works will have their data and results shared in real time over BELLA, with the help of the EllaLink cable. One of them is Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme which monitors the effects of climate change in real time.
The EllaLink cable will also facilitate access to information from high-energy physics projects involving the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the particle accelerator of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and data provided by the optical and radio telescopes of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, including the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA).