CWC, Columbus form wholesale capacity joint venture

21 May 2013

Pan-Caribbean operator Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions (a subsidiary of UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications) have formed a joint venture to provide expanded wholesale bandwidth capacity to global, regional and local communications companies in the Caribbean and Americas region. The joint venture company will be called CNL-CWC Networks Ltd.

In addition to the joint venture, CWC Wholesale Solutions has entered into a separate services agreement with Columbus Networks under which the latter will provide CWC Wholesale Solutions certain operation and monitoring services.

Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions operate complementary networks in the rapidly developing region. After completing multiple network interconnections, the joint venture will offer wholesale customers an expanded network platform that spans more than 42,000km and reaches more than 42 countries in the region.

The joint venture company will serve as the sales agent of both Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions for international wholesale capacity. Columbus Networks will be the managing partner in the joint venture. CWC Wholesale Solutions will provide support and management resources. Columbus Networks and CWC Wholesale Solutions will retain ownership and control of their respective existing networks in the region.

According to the press release, in the coming months, customers will have access to greater route choice, improved reliability and higher performance, while the joint venture plans to roll out new service offerings spanning clear channel services, IP transit, carrier Ethernet and carrier MPLS. The interconnected networks will enable more self-healing fibre-optic rings with a future planned migration to a fully meshed network environment that will ‘significantly improve the region’s access to international capacity and better meet the increasing demands for reliability and performance.’

Columbus Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Barbados-based Columbus International, provides capacity and IP services, corporate data solutions and data centre hosting throughout 27 countries in the greater Caribbean, Central American and Andean region, through a fully protected, ringed submarine fibre-optic network spanning close to 18,000km.

CWC Wholesale Solutions, owns, or has access to, capacity on 26 undersea and over-land cables in the pan-America region. ‘We have been investing heavily in recent years to upgrade existing networks and build entirely new subsea links such as CBUS and East West Cable,’ said Simeon Irvine, chief executive of CWC Wholesale Solutions.