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Submarine cable connecting Portugal to Latin America starts operating in 2021

The addition of the new infrastructure that will connect Portugal to Latin America through a transatlantic submarine fiber optic cable is one of the great bets of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union and the cable has already reached Sines.

The project involves an investment of 150 million euros, 50% financed by organizations such as the Bella Consortium, Cabo Verde Telecom and EMACOM and with the remaining 50% coming from the pan-European investment fund Marguerite II. This cable opens a ‘corridor’ for data transmission between Europe and Latin America, providing the first direct and high-speed connection by submarine cable. The project foresees several land routes that connect strategic data centers in Lisbon, Madrid, Marseille, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza.

The entry point in Europe will be located in Sines and the FCCN (FCT National Scientific Computing Unit) highlights the decisive role of the academic and research community in implementing the project, highlighting that funding was possible under the BELLA program which aims to create a research and education network between the two continents. The BELLA program is led in consortium by several national research and education networks, with Portugal being represented by the FCCN.

For future needs, latency values ​​are an essential factor, with applications requiring a shorter period of time for information to pass through the network, in the path between users, data centers and platforms.

The direct route will allow to reduce latency by 50% compared to the current infrastructure, reaching a real value of less than 60 ms between Portugal and Brazil. From the end user’s perspective, it is expected that there will be improvements for telecommunications platforms, Cloud services, access to content, all types of digital businesses and even in the video game industry.

Connections to Madeira and Cape Verde, as well as to Marseille, are planned, which will enable expanded connectivity to be expanded to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with other potential connection points in view of Mauritania, Morocco, French Guiana, and the Canary Islands.

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