Marea: the highest-capacity subsea cable to cross the Atlantic




Last Friday Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica announced that the new undersea cable called Marea, which crosses the Atlantic Ocean from United States to Spain, is completed.


Marea, which stands for “tide” in Spanish, has a length of 6.600 kilometers and a diameter of 3 centimeters. It lies about 5 kilometers below the ocean surface and connects the cities of Virgina (USA) and Bilbao (Spain). It is the highest capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean. With 8 pairs of fiber optic cable it has a data rate of 160 Tbps, which is enough to simultaneously stream 71 millions of HD video. And what is also impressive: it has been finished in less than two years.


The necessity of better cables was obvious in October 2012, while Hurricane Sandy hit the country and left communications seriously damaged. “The entire network between North America and Europe was isolated for a number of hours. For us, the storm brought to light a potential challenge in the consolidation of transatlantic cables that all landed in New York and New Jersey” said Frank Rey, director of global network strategy for Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations division.


Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, declared: “Submarine cables in the Atlantic already carry 55 percent more data than trans-Pacific routes and 40 percent more data than between the US and Latin America. There is no question that the demand for data flows across the Atlantic will continue to increase.”


For this purpose, Marea has an open design, which means that future updates will be easier to implement.


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