The EllaLink transatlantic submarine cable is tasked with implementing and operating a state-of-the-art submarine cable system between Latin America and Europe. It provides a solid foundation on which operators and internet content providers can develop competitive offerings. Morocco will now see this cable cross the country to connect the main hubs of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza with those of Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille.
The cable is expected to enter service in the next quarter, supporting data traffic of more than 100 Tbps, in particular between Brazil and Portugal, 30 Tbps between Portugal and Madeira, and 40 Tbps between Portugal and Morocco.
EllaLink also plans to connect Morocco, Madeira, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guyana and the Canary Islands. The submarine cable, some 6,000 km long, has cost EUR 150 million, of which EUR 25 million was financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The company claims that the cable will achieve "an unprecedented level of international connectivity" and will achieve a 50% reduction in community latencies between the countries benefiting from the project.
The project was launched in 2015, led by Spain's IslaLink and Brazil's Telebras. In 2017, Alcatel Submarine Networks was awarded the construction of the submarine cables and in 2018 the pan-European equity fund Margueritte II became the project sponsor. In 2019, the subsea survey was completed and cable manufacturing began.
Other companies such as corporate and investment bank Natixis, marine survey, design and route installation company Subsea Networks, Madeira's public telecoms operator Emacom, Cape Verde's telecoms CVTelecom, and BELLA, a company tasked with connecting education and research needs between Latin America and Europe, are other companies taking part in the project.
The first cable network linking Latin America and Europe dates back to 2000 when the Atlantis-2 cable connected Argentina and Portugal. In 2018, another transatlantic cable announced by the Hemisphere Cable Company (HCC) was announced that will connect the Brazilian city of Fortaleza with the Canary Islands and Seixal, with additional connections in Cape Verde, Casablanca and Madeira.
The first linking Morocco to Europe was built in 2012 thanks to a grant from Maroc Telecom. The 187-kilometre-long Loukkos cable connects the Moroccan coastal city of Asilah and the Spanish city of Rota.
EllaLink will benefit from Infinera's ICE6 technology innovations and intelligent power management, which deliver industry-leading performance, the company said in a press release.
"The implementation of Infinera's 800G solution on EllaLink's new network will provide a superior network experience for its customers when connecting between Europe and Latin America," said Nick Walden, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales at Infinera. "Infinera's open optical solution will enable EllaLink to offer new and differentiated services, helping to ensure that its customers receive the highest level of service," he concluded.
In the future, the network is expected to be connected to the United States, other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.