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Submarine cable investments to reach $8bn, TeleGeography map shows

By Catherine Knowles, Tue 15 Jun 2021

TeleGeography has launched its 2021 Submarine Cable Map, sponsored by Telecom Egypt, which reveals the plan for more than $8 billion in cable investments over the next three years.

The map visualises 464 global cables and 1,245 landing stations, as well as major future deployments.

The map further analyses the changing dynamics in the market and influence of new players on submarine cable investments.

Having accounted for less than 10% prior to 2012, content providers’ share of total capacity surged to 66% in 2020, according to TeleGeography.

Unlike previous cable construction booms, content providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are taking a more active role in the submarine cable market.

These companies have seen incredible demand for data centre traffic, so much so that they’re driving projects and route prioritisation for submarine cable systems. Google alone has more than 15 subsea cable investments globally.

Another noteworthy statistic and cable fact highlighted on the map states that there are more than 1.3 million kilometres of submarine cables spanning the globe, which would wrap around Earth more than 30 times end-to-end.

Of the 464 cables displayed in this 2021 edition of this map, 428 are active and 36 are planned. Out of these planned cables, 19 are brand new to TeleGeography’s map, boasting a combined length 103,348 km.

New subsea cables have been deployed across every global route grouping, with more systems expected in the coming three years.

The Intra-Asian route is expected to experience the most investment, with a projected $1.6 billion in new cables to be launched.

TeleGeography research director Alan Mauldin says, “We’re excited to launch our latest Submarine Cable Map and would like to thank Telecom Egypt for supporting it this year.

"The 2021 map illustrates a market that’s experiencing more deployments, with new and diverse players. Over the last decade, we’ve seen content providers emerge as disruptors, ramping up investments to meet global demand for their services.

"The submarine cable market has never been so dynamic and we’re thrilled to showcase our data and analysis on all things subsea cable.”

TeleGeography is a telecommunications market research and consulting firm that conducts in-depth research, compiles large data sets, and presents this information in online reports and databases.

Their primary research areas include enterprise MPLS VPN, Ethernet, dedicated internet access, and international private line service providers and pricing.

The 2021 Submarine Cable Map is available as a physical art piece or to explore as an interactive version reference.

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