Aqua Comms, Meta, Microsoft, and Vodafone complete transatlantic Amitié cable

Press Release

Amitié increases the reliability and diversity of subsea cable routes between North America and Europe

Aqua CommsMetaMicrosoft, 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.

Keep up to date with all of the latest developments in the submarine cable industry at the world’s largest subsea cable event, Submarine Networks EMEA

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