Aqua Comms, Meta, Microsoft, and Vodafone Announce Completion of Amitié, the Highest Capacity Transatlantic Subsea Cable System Ever Deployed
20th July 2023
Amitié increases the reliability and diversity of subsea cable routes between North America and Europe
Aqua Comms, Meta, Microsoft, and Vodafone announced today the completion of the Amitié subsea cable system, the first to directly connect Boston to Europe and Bordeaux to North America. The 6,783 km (4,215 miles) trans-Atlantic system, which was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks, has landings in Lynn, Massachusetts; Widemouth Bay, England; and Le Porge, France. With 16 fiber pairs and 400 Tbps, Amitié is the highest capacity transoceanic communications cable ever deployed.
The design of the system brings all users additional connectivity options in the United States, the UK, and in France. Boston will have direct connection all the way to London and a new Carrier Neutral Data Center constructed in Bordeaux. This delivers improved reliability in terms of protected capacity on multiple diverse routes.
The system includes an innovative branching unit 860 km from France and 650 km from the UK. This device allows the owners to switch either individual optical wavelengths between different landings or the full fiber capacity via two different types of switching technologies.
Andy Hudson, Chief Network Officer, Aqua Comms, said: “Amitié, branded as AEC-3 on Aqua Comms’ network, adds a third high-capacity system to our transatlantic footprint offering enhanced diversity in both the US and Europe and delivering the latest technology to our customers.”
Gary Waterworth, Investment Manager, Meta said: “Amitié will increase telecommunications reliability, speed, and diversity of subsea cable routes between the continents helping to improve transmission capacity in North America and Europe. It’s a great example of tech and telecom companies collaborating to build digital infrastructure to benefit the countless people, businesses, and organizations who rely on global connectivity.”
Frank Rey, General Manager, Azure Networking at Microsoft said: “As public and private sectors deepen their reliance on cloud technologies for economic growth and service improvement, Amitié will advance both resiliency and capacity for customers using our cloud services.”
Fanan Henriques, Director, Vodafone Business International & EU-Cluster, said: “As a significant investor in submarine cables, Vodafone was able to bring its strong heritage and extensive expertise to the partnership. With transatlantic total bandwidth growth forecasted to increase six-fold over the next five years, it is essential that we keep our customers, partners and communities connected to vital services enabling the digital economy. The completion of the Amitié subsea cable will strengthen connectivity and add resilience between the U.S., France and the UK.”
Previous studies have shown that subsea cables can have a positive impact on national and regional economies. Subsea cables such as the Amitié cable can spur the development of terrestrial fiber and local economic growth. For example, according to RTI International, Meta’s and Microsoft’s investment in Marea, another high capacity transoceanic cable, has been contributing about $18 billion annually to Europe’s economy since 2019.
Amitié is now fully commissioned and tested and was handed over to Aqua Comms, Meta, Microsoft, and Vodafone on July 16, 2023. The system was constructed under a Joint Build Agreement between the four partners, who worked together in close cooperation with the supplier and the landing providers.
About Aqua Comms
Aqua Comms is a leading provider of global subsea connectivity services delivered through an extensive portfolio of owned and operated subsea systems. Aqua Comms offers connectivity networking solutions including managed capacity services, spectrum and dark fiber to the global content, cloud and carrier markets.
To learn more about Aqua Comms and its portfolio of connectivity networking solutions visit www.aquacomms.com.
IIn April 2021, Aqua Comms DAC was acquired by Digital 9 Infrastructure plc (ticker:DGI9), an LSE listed investment trust managed by Triple Point Investment Management LLP. The Company invests in the infrastructure of the internet that underpins the world’s digital economy. The number 9 in Digital 9 Infrastructure comes from the UN Sustainable Development Goal 9, which focuses the fund on investments that increase connectivity globally and improve the sustainability of digital infrastructure. To learn more about D9 visit www.d9infrastructure.com.
Meta, formerly the Facebook company, builds technologies that help people connect, find communities and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Technologies like Messenger, Instagram, Meta Quest and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.
Vodafone is the largest pan-European and African telecoms company. Our purpose is to connect for a better future by using technology to improve lives, digitalise critical sectors and enable inclusive and sustainable digital societies.
We provide mobile and fixed services to over 300 million customers in 17 countries, partner with mobile networks in 46 more and are also a world leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting over 160 million devices and platforms. With Vodacom Financial Services and M-Pesa, we have the largest financial technology platform in Africa, serving more than 56 million people across six countries.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact to reach net zero emissions by 2040, while helping our customers reduce their own carbon emissions by 350 million tonnes by 2030. We are driving action to reduce device waste and achieve our target to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of our network waste.