EllaLink & EMACOM launch the “EllaLink GeoLab” SMART submarine cable initiative

Dublin, Ireland and Funchal, Madeira, Portugal – 29 June 2020 Seismology, volcanology, marine ecology, and oceanic conditions are key to understanding the future of our planet. EllaLink is proud to contribute to such understanding by launching the EllaLink GeoLab initiative which aims to provide the scientific community with real-time, accurate and relevant data on seabed conditions. This initiative will be the first dedicated facility of its kind as part of a telecoms submarine cable.

The EllaLink GeoLab infrastructure will be provided by EllaLink in cooperation with EMACOM. Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) Technology will be used on cable a dedicated fibre in the Madeira Branch of the EllaLink System. It will collect data along the route which will be optically transmitted back to the shore, independently and without impacting either telecoms traffic or the design life of the cable, making EllaLink in to the first system to integrate SMART cable concepts.

The Research and Education (R&E) community in Europe will enjoy access to the data generated by the EllaLink GeoLab initiative. For this, EllaLink is collaborating with GÉANT and the Portuguese NREN, FCT, both members of the BELLA Consortium, who will use EllaLink cable to support R&E collaborations between Europe and Latin America.

Philippe Dumont, CEO of EllaLink said “In a time of continued environmental change, critical information about the planet can be ascertained from the seabed. Submarine telecoms cables are best placed to monitor seabed conditions at all time and make such data available to scientists on-land. We are proud to lead the way into a new era of submarine cable systems supporting such scientific progress.”

Pedro Bettencourt Calado, Vice President of Autonomous Region of Madeira added “Addition of DAS technology into the EllaLink branch to Madeira neutral operator EMACOM, is a move designed to pave the way for a greater understanding of the waters that surround our archipelago.  The importance of educational progress relating to earthquakes and oceanographic conditions cannot be underestimated. We look forwarding to hosting the GeoLab facility in Funchal.”

João Cadete de Matos, Chairman of Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) said of the news “ANACOM considered the addition of seismic and environmental detection features in the future submarine cables Ring connecting the Mainland, Azores and Madeira greatly beneficial for Portugal and it had the opportunity to propose such development to the industry. Therefore, ANACOM welcomes this important innovation and recommends its adoption by other future submarine cable systems developed on the Portuguese Continental Platform.”

Erik Huizer, CEO of GÉANT commented “GÉANT provides users with highly reliable, unconstrained access to computing, analysis, storage, applications and other resources, to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of research.  EllaLink will provide direct connectivity between the research and education communities of Europe and Latin America, thanks to the work of the BELLA Consortium of which GÉANT is a member. GÉANT therefore welcomes the development of a dark fibre research infrastructure that can support DAS and other technologies, without disturbing telecommunications traffic, as a further engagement from EllaLink for the R&E community.

Nuno Rodrigues, FCT Board Member said “Science has shown time and again its fundamental role in the creation of knowledge beacons pointing the way to sound and sustained human and technological development. Today, this mission depends ever more on sophisticated scientific infrastructures to understand the complex processes that govern our world, upon which the discovery of new and relevant knowledge lies. GeoLab is far more than just a sophisticated scientific infrastructure, it is a scientific challenge in many fields of knowledge that FCT is committed to support and engage with the national and international scientific community to pursue such goal.

About EllaLink

EllaLink is an advanced optical platform offering secure high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route serving the growing needs of the Latin American and European markets. The EllaLink network directly connects Brazil and Europe, linking the major hubs of São Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon, Madrid, and Marseille. 

The EllaLink System is being built with state-of-the-art coherent technology initially offering 72Tbps of capacity over four direct fiber pairs between Europe and Brazil. The landing sites in Fortaleza (Brazil) and Sines (Portugal) have been secured, the marine survey is complete, and the cable manufacture is almost finalized. EllaLink is scheduled to be Ready for Service in Q1 2021. EllaLink is a privately funded and independent company committed to providing products and services on a Carrier Neutral and Open Access basis. For more information visit ella.link

Press contacts EllaLinkinfo@ella.link

About EMACOM

The company EMACOM – Telecomunicações da Madeira, Unipessoal, Lda., incorporated in August 1998 is100% owned by the Autonomous Region of Madeira. It’s main objective is to provide fiber optic services as a neutral operator in the Autonomous Region of Madeira – Portugal, and to promote with international connectivity, the development of IT business opportunities in this region. For more information visit http://www.eem.pt

About GÉANT

GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community. For more information, visit www.geant.org

About ANACOM

Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) is the national regulatory authority (NRA) for communications for the purposes of the law of the European Union (EU) and national legislation.

About FCT

FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia is the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology. FCT also manages the Portuguese NREN through its FCCN branch. FCCN’s main objective is the planning and managing of the RCTS – Rede Ciência, Tecnologia e Sociedade (Science, Technology, and Society Network), which is an academic network consisting of a digital research infrastructure, covering all areas of knowledge and the entire national territory. Its services are provided by means of a high-performance network for education and research institutions, thus ensuring communication requirements and advanced digital services for the various user communities from these entities.
RCTS is also a test platform for applications and advanced communication services.

About BELLA

BELLA (Building the Europe Link with Latin America) provides for the long-term interconnectivity needs of the European and Latin American research and education communities by procuring and deploying a long-term Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) for spectrum on a direct submarine cable between the two regions, and deploying a 100Gbps-capable research and education network across Latin America. BELLA is implemented by a Consortium of the Regional Research and Education Networks GÉANT (Europe) and RedCLARA (Latin America) and the National Research and Education Networks of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Por tugal and Spain. BELLA receives funding from the European Union through the Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement number 731505 -DG CNECT- (BELLA-S1), from DG DEVCO under grant agreement LA/2016/376-534 (BELLA-T), and from DG GROW. BELLA receives funding in cash and kinds, from CEDIA (Ecuador), REUNA (Chile), RENATA (Colombia) and RNP (Brazil). Together, they contribute 30% of the access cost to the EllaLink transatlantic cable, as well as making significant contributions to upgrading the RedClara regional network in South America.

In the specific case of the EllaLink cable, the Latin American contribution comes from RNP, the Brazilian NREN, which is  supported by a long-term programme launched by the government of Brazil.

For more information visit http://www.bella-programme.eu, and follow us on Twitter: @BELLA_Programme.

EllaLink was shortlisted as the Best Subsea Cable Operator of the Year for CC-Global Awards 2020

EllaLink was Shortlisted for CC Awards 2020

EllaLink is revolutionizing the connection between Europe and South America by making a new direct route between the two continents. The EllaLink express optical platform has been built with state-of-the-art coherent technology offering 72Tbps of capacity and it brings to the telecom market numerous of unique features, each of them with the potential of becoming real game-changers: 

  • EllaLink offers a revolutionary 50% latency reduction on direct City to City connections between the two continents with less than 60ms between Portugal and Brazil.  
  • EllaLink is the only subsea cable operator that provides a unique and direct route connecting Europe and Latin America, creating for the first time the possibility of moving massive traffic between the two continents without transiting North America, guaranteeing data privacy. 
  • EllaLink has established direct connectivity between Asia and Latin America thanks to the choice of providing secure and diverse routes to Marseille connecting with Sao Paulo in less than 120ms. 
  • In addition to its main destination, the system includes numerous branching units and dedicated branches to serve Morocco, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Mauritania, Cabo Verde and French Guyana. 
  • EllaLink has created a new cable landing station in Sines, Portugal, an ideal site for data centre expansion to avoid other congested areas. 
  • EllaLink is completely open and carrier neutral. 

What is Unique About EllaLink  

  1. The fastest path towards Latin America from Europe and Asia 

Latency is the driver of the digital world and we are improving the ride for a combined market of over 1.2 billion people. With EllaLink, Portugal will be at less than 60ms from Brazil, and Marseille at less than 120ms from São Paulo. 

Via our direct route, and with the use of state-of-the-art technology, EllaLink will facilitate the reduction in Round Trip Delay between the European continent and Latin America which will have a big impact on the global IP market and on the enterprise IT delivery model. The EllaLink system also removes the need for European users to reach Latin America via North America, and in doing so creates improved predictability of performance because only one cable system is traversed to reach the end point instead of two (or sometimes more).  Software platforms are very sensitive to transmission delays and this limitation has forced providers to deploy their applications in data centres close to their end users. The dramatic decrease in latency provided by the EllaLink route (by the order of magnitude of 50%) offers an entirely new way for the corporate world to define the architecture of their application layer for companies present in either Europe or Latin America, which in turn creates a change in paradigm for data centre infrastructure used for app deployment.  

  • Bridging the digital divide securely and neutrally 

The telecoms market will of course benefit from the presence of an alternative transatlantic route, increased connectivity always offers improvement to networks.  We also hope to bridge the digital divide and promote the growth of telecoms infrastructure in smaller countries such as Mauritania and the islands of Cabo Verde, Madeira and the French Guyana, which have less demand, and smaller budgets and thus obtaining a dedicated fibre-optic system is a challenge.  To that extent, the EIB (European Investment Bank) has been very concerned, proactive and supportive towards our project helping our customer (Cabo Verde Telecom) with the financing of their participation in EllaLink. The EllaLink system will not only benefit the telecoms market, but also the scientific and education communities in Europe and Latin America through the academic networks of GEANT and RedCLARA.   

  • Supporting the global economy transformation 

On 28th June 2019, The European Union and the South American trade bloc MERCOSUR, composed of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, reached the largest trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. The two regions will consolidate a strategic political and economic partnership as 20% of MERCOSUR’s trade is with the EU making it one of the region’s most important trading partners. This win-win deal will enhance employment opportunities on both sides, increasing imports and investments as well as strengthening political relations between the EU and all Latin American countries.  

China is another powerful trading partner with Latin America. The EU and China represent 44% of total trade whereas the USA only makes up 14%, thus this free trade agreement aims to reinforce the EU’s role in the global market. This also shows that the EU and Latin America do not require US intervention to create trade deals and work together effectively.  

Our end to end network has been designed to maximize our onward connectivity and the choice to provide secure and diverse routes to Marseille, for example, will enable onward routes to Asia and the rest of the world. The EllaLink route perfectly fits in with the recent increase in trading relations between Brazil, the most economically dynamic country of LATAM, and the EU, and also with China and the whole Asian continent. The latest data shows that, since 2005 the USA is no longer the main trading partner of Brazil but has been overtaken by China and the EU. In 2017, Brazilian exports’ main destination was China (22%), then the EU (20%), and finally the USA (11%). The Asiatic hegemony on the global trade and on LATAM will certainly continue to grow. Indeed, especially with new routes like the EllaLink one, Asian countries will be able to connect their cables to our data centres, for instance in Marseille, and thus, more easily reach Latin America. 

The data traffic is 1000 times higher between Latin America and the US compared to the existing solutions because of the twentieth century economic situation.  This free-trade agreement will undoubtedly reinforce connections and data traffic between these two continents justifying the EllaLink cable, which creates a southern data corridor linking Europe and Asia to Brazil while bypassing the USA.  

  • SinesTech – Creating a new landing in the South of Europe  

EllaLink has teamed with Global Parques to launch ‘Sines Tech Hub’, a next generation Innovation and Data Centre hub in Portugal. It is strategically positioned for the joint development of subsea cable systems and data centre infrastructures, both of which are at the core of today’s Internet. This Innovation & Data Centre Hub combines, in one location, “open access” to cost-effective land, high power density networks (including access to nearby solar panels parks), high availability backhaul routes to Madrid and Lisbon, as well as a robust and secure subsea cable landing site.  

By selecting alternative landing sites, such as Sines, EllaLink is helping to address the issue of diversity; with new landing sites come new cable stations and alternative terrestrial routes. Significant investment into our new landing site in Sines also includes horizontal directional drilling and a new fronthaul route.  The budget allows for several million euros of investment for Sines alone, a worthwhile price for diversity. 

Connecting the Unconnected

EllaLink has been shortlisted for CC – Global Awards 2020 in the category ‘Connecting the Unconnected’ and here is why.

EllaLink has created for the first time the possibility of moving massive traffic between Europe and Latin America, directly connecting a previously unconnected community of 1.2 billion people, without transiting North America, thereby reducing the latency and improving the predictability of performance. 

3 aspects of how EllaLink connects the unconnected:

  • EllaLink directly links Europe and Latin America with the fastest and most secure route giving true POP to POP optical connectivity: these two continents are not currently benefitting from any massive direct connectivity solution. 
  • EllaLink has created unique partnerships to connect places with limited connectivity such as Madeira, Cabo Verde, Mauritania, Morocco, the Canary Islands and French Guyana providing them with a direct path to continental Europe. 
  • The EllaLink extension to Marseille creates a unique corridor to connect Asia with Latin America as a mirror of the global economy transformation. 

Connecting Latin America to Europe: it’s all about latency 

Latency is the driver of the digital world and EllaLink provides  fast, direct access between Points of Presence (PoP)  in Europe and Latin America via a shorter, new and unique path. The system has been specifically designed to offer reduced latency between major hubs in São Paulo, Lisbon/Sines, Madrid, and Marseille. Amazing improvements in Round Trip Delay (RTD), of up to 50%,  are possible between Madrid and São Paulo.  

Via our direct route, and with the use of state-of-the-art technology, EllaLink will facilitate a reduction in RTD between the European continent and Latin America which will have a big impact on the global IP market and on the enterprise IT delivery model. The EllaLink system also removes the need for European users to reach Latin America via North American, and in doing so creates improved predictability of performance because only one cable system is traversed to reach the end point instead of two (and sometimes more). Software platforms are very sensitive to transmission delays and this limitation has forced providers to deploy their applications in data centres close to their end users. The dramatic decrease in latency provided by the EllaLink route by the order of magnitude of 50% offers an entirely new way for the corporate world to define the architecture of their application layer for companies present either in Europe or Latin America, which in turn creates a change in paradigm for data centre infrastructure used for app deployment. 

Bridging the digital divide securely and neutrally 

EllaLink provides bespoke partnerships to bridge the digital divide and promote the growth of telecoms infrastructure in smaller countries such as Mauritania, the archipelago of Cabo Verde, Madeira, Morocco, the Canary Islands and French Guyana – home of the European Space Launching Centre – which have less demand and smaller budgets and thus obtaining a dedicated fibre optic system is a challenge. To that extent, the EIB (European Investment Bank) has been very concerned, proactive and supportive towards our project helping our customer Cabo Verde Telecom (CVT) with the financing of their participation in EllaLink.  

The EllaLink system will not only benefit the telecoms market, but also the scientific and education communities in Europe and Latin America through their respective academic networks. The BELLA program (GEANT + RedCLARA, see http://www.bella-programme.eu/index.php/en/) will benefit from a significant amount of optical spectrum. It will now allow connecting both sides of the Atlantic working with advanced scientific programs such as the Very Large Telescope in Chile, the Copernicus project (earth monitoring) and the Lago Observatory that were previously working almost in standalone mode. This new connection will allow an enhanced collaboration between the research group favouriting knowledge exchange, efficiency and new cases of usages. 

EllaLink is a privately funded company committed to providing products and services on a carrier neutral,  open access and independent basis. Our neutrality ensures that our interests are entirely aligned with that of our customers, anchor tenants and partners. Customer choice is our modus operandi. 

Furthermore, by selecting alternative landing sites, such as Sines, EllaLink is helping to address the issue of diversity; with new landing sites come new cable stations and alternative terrestrial routes. Significant investment into our new landing site in Sines also includes horizontal directional drilling and a new front haul route.  The budget allows for several million euros of investment for Sines alone, a worthwhile price for diversity.  

RENTELECOM and EllaLink close agreement for dark fibers to foster Data Center connectivity between Europe and Latin America

Dublin, Ireland and Lisbon, Portugal – 16 January 2020 – The EllaLink Group has closed an agreement with RENTELECOM, a Portuguese public telecommunications network operator, to use dark fibers in Portugal and Spain for data center interconnection. RENTELECOM offers the largest neutral backbone in Portugal with more than 8,100km of fiber optic cables within their electricity and gas transport domains. EllaLink will integrate RENTELECOM’s fibers in its optical platform to enhance its services from Sines to Madrid and Lisbon. The protected fiber ring will connect all the major data centers of both capital cities allowing EllaLink to serve PoPs with low latency capacity, open spectrum and managed spectrum services directly towards Fortaleza, São Paulo and Rio in Brazil.

In Sines, fibers will be used to connect the Sines Tech– Innovation & Data Center Hub, which is strategically positioned for the joint development of subsea cable systems and data center infrastructure, both at the core of today’s Internet.

Rui Franco, Director of RENTELECOM, said “Our aim is to continuously invest in our networks in order to address Portugal’s optical fiber needs. We already offer the largest and most stable neutral optical fiber backbone, with seven cross-border interconnections with Spain, interconnecting all telecom operators and the biggest Datacenters in Portugal.”

Diego Matas, Chief Operating Officer of EllaLink, added “This agreement with RENTELECOM  further reinforces our presence in Portugal and Spain, breaking ground for a long-term collaboration. The high availability of RENTELECOM’s fibers over the shortest route to Madrid marks a significant step in the expansion of the EllaLink terrestrial network to meet increasing bandwidth demands.”

About RENTELECOM

RENTELECOM is the telecoms and IT provider of the REN group offering dark fiber, data center, and connectivity services.

REN (“Redes Energéticas Nacionais”) is the utility in Portugal operating the electricity and gas transport networks – its significant ICT infrastructures covering Portugal and reaching the Spanish border, are critical to the energy business. 

To learn more visit www.rentelecom.pt . 

Press contacts RENTELECOM, REN: 

About EllaLink

EllaLink is an advanced optical platform offering secure high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route serving the growing needs of the Latin American and European markets. The EllaLink network directly connects Brazil and Europe, linking the major hubs of São Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon, Madrid, and Marseille. 

The EllaLink System is being built with state-of-the-art coherent technology initially offering 72Tbps of capacity over four direct fiber pairs between Europe and Brazil. The landing sites in Fortaleza (Brazil) and Sines (Portugal) have been secured, the marine survey is completed and the cable manufacture has started. EllaLink is scheduled to be Ready for Service in 2020. EllaLink is a privately funded and independent company committed to providing products and services on a Carrier Neutral and Open Access basis. 

Press contacts EllaLinkinfo@ella.link