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The Geography of Bandwidth

9 Jul 2012

TeleGeography’s 2012 Submarine Cable Map reveals the ever-expanding web of international cables that link the world’s continents, providing valuable insight into this rapidly changing market.

As demand for international bandwidth continues to increase—growing 45 percent in 2011 — operators around the world are upgrading their existing network infrastructure and making substantial investments in new cable construction to keep pace. TeleGeography projects that USD5.5 billion worth of new submarine cables will enter service during 2012 and 2013.

The trans-Atlantic remains the largest submarine cable route by far, with 16.2 Tbps of lit capacity at year-end 2011. The trans-Pacific route follows with 12.5 Tbps of lit capacity (see Figure: Lit Capacity on International Submarine Cables, 2011). While submarine cable capacity between the U.S. and Latin America is somewhat more modest at 8.3 Tbps, capacity on the route has nearly doubled between 2009 and 2011.

Due to the construction of new submarine cables and the expansion of existing systems, the number of coastal countries lacking access to one or more cables is shrinking rapidly. The launch of the West Africa Cable System (WACS) in May 2012 and the activation of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) system, expected in Q4 2012, have provided the first cable access for countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Namibia.

TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map has been completely updated for 2012 to show more than 150 cable systems that are currently active or due to enter service by 2014. Insets and infographics provide detailed information about cable landing stations and the state of the submarine cable industry. Visit our website to place an order, download a free high-resolution desktop wallpaper, or view the new interactive version of the 2012 Submarine Cable Map.

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