Six reasons why EllaLink was shortlisted for the 2019 Global Carrier Awards – Best Strategic Subsea Route

Since the deployment of the very first submarine cable system, the Atlantic has been a challenging and competitive market to operate in. The ingenuity and foresight of EllaLink’s founders has led us to take a different approach to the traditional one, both with our choice of route and landing points, and also our partners and way of doing business. Not only will our system bring the continents of Europe and Latin America closer together, but it will also open up a new corridor between China and Latin America. Our investment in the network, on the design side and also in how we build and operate the system, will be paramount to our success.

6 reasons why EllaLink has been shortlisted for the 2019 Global Carrier Awards – Best strategic subsea route

 

1. Creation of a new diverse route

In the past, transatlantic submarine cable systems have typically taken a route across the North Atlantic from Europe to Canada, New Jersey, New York and more recently Virginia Beach. The primary focus of the EllaLink system is to offer a diverse transatlantic path for those wishing to reach Latin America directly from Europe, and vice versa. By selecting a subsea route across the South Atlantic we have created a unique alternative that can also be used to increase redundancy across large scale networks. EllaLink will also serve as a direct link between the scientific research and education communities between the two continents for our partners GEANT and RedCLARA.

The issue of diversity is well understood in submarine cable systems and increasingly customers are citing diversity as the primary criteria when selecting a cable route. Across the Atlantic for example, some of the main hyperscalers elect to have upwards of 5 diverse routes within their networks. By selecting alternative landing points, such as Sines in Portugal, the EllaLink team has increased the choices for diversity. With new landing sites come new cable stations, and green terrestrial routes, diverse from the congested paths back to Lisbon. All these decisions help to build redundancy into our customers end-to-end networks.

 

2. Bringing two continents closer together: a breakthrough in reducing latency

The main benefit EllaLink is bringing to the marketplace is provision of the first low latency coherent network between Europe and Latin America. Existing fiber optic routes between the continents currently go via North America, creating a much longer path hence imposing a large round-trip delay. Our primary aim is to serve those not wishing to route via North America, and by doing so EllaLink offers improvements in latency of around 50%. This will make a huge difference to telecoms users in both continents.
The number one issue in the market that EllaLink addresses is the lack of a high-speed and affordable connection between Europe and Latin America. The vastly decreased latency that EllaLink offers will have a big impact on the global IP market and on the enterprise IT delivery model. Software platforms are very sensitive to transmission delay and this limitation has forced providers to deploy their applications in data centers close to their end users. The dramatic improvements offered by the direct EllaLink route provide an entirely new way for the corporate world to define the architecture of their application layer for companies present either in Europe/Asia or Latin America. Which in turn creates a change in paradigm for data center infrastructure used for app deployment. New business opportunities will arise from the direct connection between Latin America and Europe allowing applications from each continent to serve each other.

3. New secured landing in Portugal

On the dry side the system is also unique, with new landing beaches selected such as Sines in Portugal. By landing to the South of existing systems EllaLink avoids the congested areas of Sesimbra, Carcavelos and Seixal, and we are creating a new cable landing station in a site ideal for data center expansion. By installing multiple Horizontal Directionally Drilled bore pipes we hope to encourage other systems to land in Sines and help to create a new data center park with diverse terrestrial routes to Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille. 2 x 50MW solar plants are under development locally and it is our aim to see more green power used in subsea systems.
On both sides of the Atlantic EllaLink will light redundant terrestrial routes to key Points of Presence and as such we are investing heavily on secure routes with good fiber, to be lit with state-of-the-art coherent technology. We are particularly focusing on ensuring that the fibers and the routes selected will fit within the wet plant design without degradation of the optical performance allowing for a true PoP to PoP connection without regeneration on the beach

4. Openness and neutrality – not only words, a true partnership approach

The concept of open and carrier neutral systems is not a new one, but the politics and practicalities of offering a service that is truly open often effects the products and pricing that we see in the telecoms marketplace. The approach of the EllaLink team from the beginning of the project in 2012 has been to offer an open access system, and our philosophy has always been one of partnership. Working closely with our research and education colleagues to address their specific low latency connectivity needs, ensuring that the service we will provide to our anchor tenants, EMACOM and Cabo Verde Telecom, enables them to connect and equip however they choose, and generally taking a partnership approach to all the business we do.
We plan only to sell capacity on the express route between Portugal and Brazil, and hence we are not competing with our anchor tenants for customers seeking connectivity to Madeira, Mauritania or Cabo Verde. EllaLink are providing services directly from PoP-to-PoP, and coming directly into our customers PoP’s and cages ensures our neutrality. Perhaps an open collaborative approach is not an innovative concept but an impressive one to see come to fruition, and we are proud of the close partnerships we have put in place.  One of the main challenges faced by smaller islands and communities is the difficulty they face in securing telecoms connectivity. They typically have less demand and smaller budgets which makes procuring dedicated fiber optic systems a challenge for them. Throughout its conception, the EllaLink project scope encompassed ensuring that where possible we offered a solution to such islands that exist along our route. The team actively sought technical and commercial solutions which would enable such countries to participate in the system, looking at shortening branches where possible, and selecting optimum landings. Madeira, Cabo Verde, the Canaries and Mauritania will all benefit from this approach and by partnering early on in the project life we have been able to ensure that our customers interests have been protected.

5. Opening up a corridor between China and Latin America

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 centers, for instance in Marseille, and thus, more easily reach Latin America.

6. Exploration of a new subsea route

By selecting a unique subsea route across the South Atlantic EllaLink have commenced a new journey in marine planning. Much of the deep-water parts of the system will be installed in areas that were not previously considered, and as such our marine team have paid particular attention to the route planning. Specific analysis of areas such as the Mid Atlantic Trench has been carried out with engineers studying its seismic activity and comparing that to the traditional North Atlantic routes. Using information such as that available in the Iris database we were able to ascertain that the specific route selected for EllaLink to cross the Mid Atlantic Ridge shows less risk of seismic activity than the popular routes across the North Atlantic. In that respect the marine survey activities to date have been fascinating, with additional runs and route development performed on ‘virgin’ seabed to understand the engineering challenges that lay ahead; see “EllaLeaks Series 1 Episode 1” for beautiful survey footage from the hydrographic research vessel the OGS Explora.

ella link ridgeFrom a marine perspective much more effort goes into systems that traverse new seabed routes in advance of installation operations. During route development we put in place a highly experienced dedicated marine team to work with our supplier, Alcatel Submarine Networks, to select the best route to survey. And following the survey to review the data and agree the best route and methodology for burial. Additional survey runs and route development work was carried out in key areas such as the Mid Atlantic Trench, and the approaches into Madeira and Sines. The route into Fortaleza is congested and we have subsequently opted to build a new beach manhole to approve diversity. The survey and marine operations form about 30% of the project costs and hence are a significant investment.

 

Six great reasons why EllaLink was shortlisted for the Best Strategic Route at the 2019 Global Carrier Awards later this month. We can’t wait to see you there Capacity!

Captain Diego’s Story

Earlier this year Elettra’s OGS Explora vessel completed part of the marine survey for EllaLink. We spoke to Captain Diego De Nardi to understand the survey activities that were carried out and to learn about his previous experiences at sea. If you’ve always wanted to find out more about what goes on off-shore the tune in to EllaLeaks Episode 02 Captain Diego’s Story.  Thank you ASN, Elettra and all the crew of the OGS Explora for your efforts supporting the EllaLink project.

EllaLink shortlisted for the 2019 Global Carrier Awards, Project of the Year – Subsea networks

Here at EllaLink we are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the Best Project award for the Capacity Global Carrier Awards 2019. We originally entered the project in recognition of the enormous commitment and perseverance of our team over the last seven years. As you may know, the EllaLink system was first conceived back in 2012 when, during discussions between GEANT and RedCLARA (together BELLA), the need for a direct link between European and Latin American scientific research and education communities because apparent. From this small seed our founders Alfonso Gajate and Ross Mullins have tirelessly steered the project from initial concept to commencing construction in 2019.

 

 

A truly open cable system

Along the way we were joined by key anchor tenants such as EMACOM and Cabo Verde Telecom as well as partners such as Telebras. We gained a financial sponsor in Marguerite and a powerhouse CEO in Philippe Dumont. EllaLink is a large project driven by a small and dynamic team with the primary aim of bringing an alternative choice for those wishing to cross the Atlantic.

At our heart is neutrality and we strive to offer open access to any type of operator on a carrier neutral basis. Customer choice is our modus operandi.

A new route to change the transatlantic playing field

In the past, transatlantic submarine cable systems have typically taken a route across the North Atlantic from Europe to Canada, New Jersey, New York and more recently Virginia Beach. The primary focus of the EllaLink system is to offer an essential high-speed and affordable connection across a diverse transatlantic path for those wishing to reach Latin America directly from Europe, and vice versa. Plus, amazing improvements in Round Trip Delay, of up to 50%, between Madrid and São Paulo will be possible via EllaLink which will have a big impact on the global IP market and on the enterprise IT delivery model.

Removing the need to transit via North America improves the predictability of performance because only one cable system is traversed to reach the end point, instead of two.  

Software platforms are very sensitive to transmission delays and this limitation has forced providers to deploy their applications in data centers close to their end users. The dramatic decrease in latency provided by the EllaLink route 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 center infrastructure used for app deployment.

The EllaLink management team is keen to support transformation of the global economy. 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 importations and investments as well as strengthening political relations with all Latin American countries.

Sines, the gateway to Southern Europe

To complete its optical platform for data center to data center connectivity, EllaLink offers integrated diverse terrestrial routes to São Paulo, Madrid and Marseille giving additional protection and ensuring high end-to-end system availability.

We have chosen to land in Sines in Portugal to avoid the congested areas of Sesimbra, Carcavelos and Seixal, and we are creating a new cable landing station in a site ideal for data center expansion.

By selecting this landing site, EllaLink is helping to address the lack of regional diversity, and with new landing sites come new cable stations and alternative terrestrial routes. EllaLink is keen to support further development of the countries broadband and green power networks, for instance we are developing two 50MW solar plants locally at the landing point.

There will no doubt be challenges along the way, there always are, but being recognised by Capacity for the progress that we have made is a great achievement in itself. We look forward to the ceremony on the 30th October. See you there @Capacity!

EllaLink shortlisted for the Global Carrier Awards 2019

EllaLink is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted for the Global Carrier Awards 2019, one of the most prestigious awards in our industry.  We have been selected in two categories: Project of the Year – Subsea and Best Strategic Subsea Route.

We submitted EllaLink for the Best Project Award in recognition of the enormous commitment that has gone into the project from initial concept to commencing construction in 2019 to bring an alternative choice for those wishing to cross the Atlantic. Neutrality is at our heart and we strive to offer open access to any type of operator on a carrier neutral basis.

For the Best Strategic Subsea Route Award,  EllaLink is a new submarine cable system that will offer high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route directly connecting Brazil and Europe linking the major hubs of São Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille.

EllaLink is a state-of-the-art and unique platform offering secure high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route, also linking major terrestrial and subsea hubs in Europe and Latin America, namely Marseille, Madrid, Lisbon and Sines to Fortaleza, Rio and Sao Paulo. Based on its subsea system integrated to a secured continental fiber network, the EllaLink four fiber pair system offers a diverse backbone infrastructure allowing direct PoP to PoP connectivity. This results into a unique redundant route with best latency connections and access to recent & future cables landings. Providing a unique direct fiber route between the two continents, it promised promising to create a new Atlantic and offering the absolute lowest latency, when compared to existing routes. EllaLink positions itself as geographically diverse system, offering open access to flexible and scalable capacity services to any type of operator on a carrier neutral basis. 

The winners will be revealed at the Capacity Global Carrier Awards ceremony taking place on Wednesday October 30th as part of the Capacity Europe conference in London. For more information, please click here https://www.capacitymedia.com/articles/3824273/global-carrier-awards-2019-shortlist-announced-

5 QUESTIONS WITH PHILIPPE DUMONT: Talking Technology Trends with EllaLink Group’s CEO

5 QUESTIONS WITH PHILIPPE DUMONT: Talking Technology Trends with EllaLink Group’s CE (an interview from the magazine Submarine Telecoms Forum).

Philippe Dumont is the CEO of EllaLink and has over 20 years of international experience as a CEO in the Telecoms industry on both the supplier and customer side, as well as working closely with infrastructure funds. He was previously the President & CEO of ASN (Alcatel Submarine Networks) after holding several executive positions inside Alcatel-Lucent. Philippe has an engineering degree from the Arts & Metiers (ENSAM) and an MBA from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris.

 

Philippe Dumont

  1. You were first involved with the EllaLink project on the supply side. How did your perspective change when you moved onto the operator side?

After spending many years as a supplier, I would say that one of the major differences is related to the project focus. On the supply side, a large amount of effort is spent, often over an extended period, to assist the customer in development of a system design that meets their specific requirements. Once the supply contract is signed it’s over to the supplier to manufacture and implement the system as per the design. On the customer side, the main focus is on the longterm strategy of the business as a whole which requires a keen understanding of the current market and how it will grow over the life of the system. It is not simply a case of conceiving and deploying a system but also making sure that it will meet the end-users’ demands over time, and that its evolution, both in terms of extension and upgrade, are taken into account from day one.

  1. Construction of the EllaLink submarine cable system is advancing – what were the key challenges upfront and what are the main activities completed to date?

It is no secret that project financing is the basic requirement for getting submarine cable projects off the ground and that funding has become more complex over recent years. There is a subtle equilibrium to be achieved between pre-sales, which are key for obtaining financing and demonstrating to potential investors that your project is worthy of their funds. EllaLink has proven to be a valid and future-proof investment for its anchor tenants by both reinforcing and diversifying their existing telecom infrastructures. So far, we have secured and surveyed landings in Portugal, Madeira, Cabo Verde and Brazil. Manufacturing activities have commenced, the marine survey is underway, and the project is on schedule for ready for service by the end of 2020.

  1. What makes Ella- Link unique as a system?

Four main factors make the EllaLink system unique. We offer customers a safe route between Europe and Latin America, the system is buried and armored to protect it from external damage, with the majority of the cable in the safer deep water. Secondly, EllaLink provides fast direct access between PoPs 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 Sao Paulo, Lisbon/Sines, Madrid and Marseille. Improvements in Round Trip Delay of up to 50% are possible between Madrid and São Paulo. Our route offers geographic diversity from existing transatlantic systems and provides customers with an alternative path between the two continents, both on the submarine section and on land. Moreover, the diverse terrestrial routes to São Paulo, Madrid and Marseille offer protection and ensure high end-to-end system availability. Last but not least, EllaLink is a privately funded and independent 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.

  1. The system will land in Sines, can you elaborate on what made EllaLink select this site?

Portugal has become, over the years, a major hub for subsea cable systems and its government is seeking to actively reinforce the country’s broadband development. Building on this, one of the main considerations taken during the system development phase was to avoid congested areas. Geographically Sines meets that requirement, offering diversity from existing systems, and thus providing the opportunity to diversify routes and increase redundancy. In Sines we are constructing a new cable landing station which will be in an area perfect for data center expansion. Additionally, the area is a key node for the Portuguese high voltage grid, thus providing diverse and readily available power lines, which will be complemented by solar plants under development to provide green power. In addition to Sines, the other landings are Fortaleza, Madeira, where our anchor customer EMACOM will supply the CLS and fronthaul and similarly in Cabo Verde with Cabo Verde Telecom.

  1. What are the next steps in terms of construction, operations and connectivity?

The next steps for the project build are completion of the Brazilian marine survey, which is due to start in August this year, construction works for new CLS in Sines, manufacturing and then installation operations. Backhaul connections will be lit to complete the end to end EllaLink network from Madrid, Marseille and Lisbon to Fortaleza and São Paulo. We are braced and ready for the next phase of the project when the system goes live at the end of next year.

ella link world

About EllaLink

EllaLink is an advanced subsea cable system 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 fiber pairs. The landing sites in Fortaleza (Brazil) and Sines (Portugal) have been secured and 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. To learn more visit ella.link

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