Microsoft and Facebook have entered an agreement to build a new, state-of-art subsea cable across the Atlantic for their data center operations. The cable known as “MAREA” will help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services of Microsoft and Facebook. The cable layout will start in August 2016 and will be completed and is expected to be fully functional by October 2017.
MAREA will be a high capacity cable consisting of eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160Tbps. The cable will cover 4,000 miles (6,600Kms) i.e. from Northern Virginia to Bilbao-Spain, and will be operated and managed by Telxius, Telefonica’s new telecommunications infrastructure company.
Facebook has a whooping 1.6 billion users and is still counting and so needs a lot of network power to support its services in future. On the other hand Microsoft will also need a ton of bandwidth to support its Azure Cloud services along with its other cloud based products like Bing, Office, Skype and Xbox Live.
So, the new relay cable will help in offering the next generation of internet infrastructure to support the explosion of data consumption and rapid growth of cloud and online services of respective companies.
Telxius plans to lease out the cable functions in future to other companies having data centers in United States, Europe, and Middle East. The new cable is said to lower costs and will facilitate easier equipment upgrades which leads to faster growth in bandwidth rates, since, the system can evolve at the pace of optical technology innovation.