As 2020 comes to a close, I thought it was worth looking at changes in the subsea cable landscape. Two years ago I gave a presentation that predicted a coming “extinction” of older cables.
We’re beginning to see signs of this in the market.
Alan Mauldin is a Research Director at TeleGeography. He manages the company’s infrastructure research group, focusing primarily on submarine cables, terrestrial networks, international Internet infrastructure, and bandwidth demand modeling. He also advises clients with due diligence analysis, feasibility studies, and business plan development for projects around the world. Alan speaks frequently about the global network industry at a wide range of conferences, including PTC, Submarine Networks World, and SubOptic.
What does the future hold for the global bandwidth market?
The two most predictable trends are persistent demand growth and price erosion. Beyond that, operators will have to navigate the major uncertainties of an evolving sector and a global pandemic.
Here are a few of the key trends from our Global Bandwidth Research Service, among many, that will affect the long-haul capacity market in the coming years.
While most press coverage has focused on the massive impact COVID-19 is having on access networks, let’s not forget the role played by our massive network of undersea cables in global communications.
I wanted to offer some preliminary insights into how the submarine cable industry is coping.
Maybe you've been scrolling through our blogs about recent cable breaks. Or perhaps it just feels like there's been an uptick of cable fault chatter online. Either way, disruptions to service have made their way into a few spring headlines.
But it's worth remembering that where there have been faults, there have also been repairs.
With a new year comes new cables. Today, we're examining five that are set to make their debut in 2020.
One disclaimer: if our 2019 list of cables taught us anything, it's that nothing is a sure thing. So you might recognize one of these from last year's rundown—but it truly looks like this is going to be their year.
As always, we'll highlight the content providers who are involved, ready for service dates, and the stats that make these cables stand out.
There's been a lot of press about delayed approval for the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) cable, which is due to connect Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines to the United States.
You can understand why this cable has gotten extra attention. Backers include Google, Facebook, and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC), which is owned by Chinese ISP Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group.
While the whole system is awaiting approval from U.S. authorities, Google and Facebook have requested that the FCC allow activation of the Taiwan and Philippines portions of the cable.
Anyone who follows the submarine cable sector knows that a lot of cables have been built in recent years—and investments in new cables keep coming.
I gave a presentation at Submarine Networks World 2019 in Singapore titled "Is Your Planned Submarine Cable Doomed?" My goal was not to identify particular planned cables that I think are doomed to fail, but rather to highlight some of the key flaws we often see when assessing cable operator business plans on behalf of investors.
Global internet bandwidth rose last year by only 26%—the lowest annual growth rate seen in at least 15 years—and at a compound annual rate of 28% between 2015 and 2019.
Total international bandwidth now stands at 466 Tbps. The pace of growth is slowing, but it still represents a near-tripling of bandwidth since 2015.
There’s been a lot in the press recently about new low-orbit satellites. Rumors abound about content providers wanting to move their internet traffic off of the ocean floor and into space.
I call this one the price parity myth—the notion that one day bandwidth prices will be the same on all routes.
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