Cloud Giant Microsoft and Social Network Facebook to Partner on Transatlantic Cable

May 29, 2016
Cloud Giant Microsoft and Social Network Facebook to Partner on Transatlantic Cable
Cloud giant Microsoft and social network Facebook are to partner on lay a transatlantic data cable. Microsoft, which has headquarters in Redmond, Washington, United States, is known for its ubiquitous Microsoft Office software and Windows Operating System (OS). The company has moved its attention to the cloud over recent years with the launches of Office 365 and its Azure cloud platform. Facebook, which has headquarters in Menlo Park, California, United States, is the internet’s leading social network with 1.65 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2016. Together the companies will cooperate on a subsea cable that will run from Bilabao, Spain to Viginia Beach in the United States. The cable will feature an “open” design and offer 8 fiber pairs with 160 Tbps of capacity.

To accomplish the task, the two companies will also partner with Telefónica, the leading broadband and telecommunications provider in Spain. Telefónica’s Telxius subsidiary will lay the data cable, which will be 6,600 kilometers (4,101 miles) in length. Known as MAREA, the cable will also be managed by Telxius. It will extend to terminal hubs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Because of its design, MAREA is expected to reduce costs and make upgrades easier. Work on the cable will begin August 2016 with October 2017 earmarked for completion.

“By creating a vendor-agnostic design with Microsoft and Telxius, we can choose the hardware and software that best serves the system and ultimately increase the pace of innovation,” suggested Facebook’s Vice President of Network Engineering Najam Ahmad in a press release. The cable is expected to enhance Facebook’s quality of service as it ventures into featuring video, and it will also prove beneficial to Microsoft Azure, Skype, Xbox Live and Office users.

Do you know of any other companies cooperating on cable? Let us know the details. Add your comments below.

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