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Convergencia Research
Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Carriers Map 2019

The regional Internet infrastructure adds alternative routes faced with consumption peaks and gaming boom

Carriers Map 2019 - Credit: © 2019 Convergencialatina
Carriers Map 2019 - Credit: © 2019 Convergencialatina

The most recent inaugurations of submarine cables and the projects announced until 2021 leave aside the Brazil-United States route, which historically concentrated serving of the segment. After the entry into operations of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), of Angola Cables, between Brazil and Luanda (Africa), transatlantic connectivity restricted to the southern hemisphere was consolidated as an alternative route, and the Chilean government with its “Asia-South America Digital Door” initiative - to link Chile with China - is already getting stakeholders, such as the Ecuadorian State, for example, which proposed a diversion point towards the Galapagos Islands.

The trigger of the SACS, in turn, allowed to specify the so-called “New Southern Route”, thanks to an alliance between Angola Cables and Silica Networks: the result is a high capacity fiber optic network that connects for the first time, South America with Africa and Asia, with access to the Pacific Ocean through the Silica backbone network in Chile. The interconnection between these infrastructures aims to achieve a 60% lower latency compared to routing options across the Northern Hemisphere.

The New Southern Route is also enriched by the inauguration this year of the Capricorn Network (Red Capricornio) (more than 15,000 km), resulting from the interconnection of Ampernet Telecom (Brazil), Ecom Chaco, Marandú Comunicaciones and REFSA Telecomunicaciones (from Argentina Northern region) and Silica (Argentina, Brazil and Chile).

Two other major initiatives on alternative routes, but across the Pacific, are Google's Curie, about to start operations, between Valparaíso (Chile) and California (United States). And by the end of 2020 it is foreseen to complete a  7,300 km submarine laying of América Móvil and Telxius, having an estimated initial capacity of 108 Tbps, between Guatemala and Chile.

The betting on new routing options is linked to an investment in traffic circulation, occurred in the last five years. It mainly responds to a change in the type of content due to the prevalence of video streaming, online games, delay-sensitive applications and Cloud for corporate apps. The video, in particular, generates abrupt changes in the traffic pattern: due to consumption peaks for special events or live broadcasts; and to gaming video, in times of eSports boom, which makes it mandatory to reinforce bidirectionality and gives latency a fundamental role.

Internet players, in turn, boosted the approach of content to the user, after detecting a gap in the market for all the traffic they need to transport. Google allocated US$47 billion between 2016 and 2018 to strengthen its infrastructure worldwide (it participates either directly or through partners in 13 submarine cables): for Latin America it announced this year, Tannat extension to Argentina, along with Antel Uruguay. Facebook, meanwhile, also added a co-construction model like the latter, with Malbec cable, between Argentina and Brazil, addressed along with Globenet.

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