Facebook and Microsoft have launched the longest and the most powerful subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean. According to Microsoft, the marea cable has the strength to transmit data at a speed of 160 terabits per second roughly 16 million times faster than a regular internet. The cable is capable of streaming 71 million HD videos simultaneously. The sources suggest that the marea cable is in its finalization stage and will be operational by early next year. Both these web giants have joined hands with a telecom infrastructure company called Telxius.
The project has been termed “Marea” which is a Spanish word used for ‘tide’. The subsea cable is 4,100 mile long, 17,000 deep below the ocean and spreads from Virginia to the city of Bilbao in Spain. Interestingly, Marea covers a route which is in southern direction of already existing cables, which makes it a blessing for the population of US and Europe. Thus acting as a shield against natural disasters or calamities which usually destroy all types of connections. From corporations’ point of view, it will benefit both companies as they have huge data operations in Virginia.
The CEO of Microsoft, Brad Smith said:
“Marea comes at a critical time. 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”
The cable consists of 8 pairs of fiber optic cables covered by copper, and is resting on the floor of the ocean. However, certain parts have been buried under the ground in order to safeguard it from wear and tear due to shipping routes near the sea shore.
Marea is open to technology advancement
Microsoft revealed in its blog that the project was completed way before its expected timeline, well within two years. The technology of Marea is flexible enough to adapt to major advancements in future. In addition, it can also scale up to rising internet users round the globe. The developers of Marea have also given a path to network hubs in Africa, Middle East and Asia where they expect to tap one billion users in the years to come.
Gone are the days when technology company relied on telecom groups to pursue underwater operations to expand their capacity. Instead, they have started building their independent infrastructures. Google has already built two major cables spreading from US to Japan, South America and some Asian countries.
Facebook and Microsoft’s investment in Marea cable will provide more flexibility and power to transmit massive data volume anywhere in the world. Furthermore, these tech giants will enhance their cloud services and benefit products like Office 365, Azure, and Xbox Live in case of Microsoft; meanwhile Facebook will observe positive changes in Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.