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Barcelona Cable Landing Station begins to build the first international submarine cable landing station


News / November 11, 2020

Barcelona Cable Landing Station begins the first international submarine cable landing station in Catalonia

  • This is a key infrastructure that will become the destination of high-capacity fiber optic submarine cables of Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean.
  • It will be an open port and will come into operation the first quarter of 2022 with the aim of being the digital port of reference in the Mediterranean
  • Its implementation strengthens the position of Barcelona, its metropolitan area and Catalonia as European digital hub
  • Barcelona Cable Landing Station, the first international submarine cable landing station, is an initiative of AFR-IX Telecom, a catalan company based in Barcelona and specialist in subsea telecommunications

We cannot understand Internet without the extensive network of submarine fiber-optic cables connecting ontinents as information motorways to transport data. According to the last data available from Submarine Cable Map, there are about 400 submarine cables around the world, that is a volume of more than 1.2 million km of submarine cables.

Submarine fiber-optic cables are irreplaceable: they are more efficient than satellite connections, as it is estimated that a cable has a transferring capacity of 2 to 3 thousand satellites. Therefore, it is strategic for Catalonia to have its own international submarine cable landing station, a reality that makes possible the Barcelona Cable Landing Station (Barcelona CLS).

A strategic infrastructure for the Catalan digital economy

Representatives from the City Council of Sant Adrià de Besòs, the Ministry of Digital Policy and Public Administration Catalan Government and the IT company AFR-IX Telecom have presented  Barcelona Cable Landing Station, the first international submarine cable landing station built in Catalonia.

This infrastructure is expected to start operating the first quarter of 2022 with the aim of being a leading digital port in the Mediterranean,. It is presented as a digital open port to enable the arrival of cables with no restrictions. The fact that a single landing station is the arrival point of many cables optimises resources and avoids more constructions.

It is an innovative proposal, because normally every cable-owner company needs to build its own landing station for the cable connection.

Currently, Marseille receives most of submarine fibre-optic cables of the Mediterranean, where there is a clear saturation. The need for other landing station such as Barcelona CLS is clear. In this sense, it should be noted that the landing station will be the point of arrival of high-capacity fiber optic submarine cables from Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean.

Barcelona CLS, the connection port for efficient and secure technology

A Fiber-optic Submarine landing station is like an airport where planes land. However, in this case, the planes would be the fiber-optic cables. From there, the data carried by the fiber optic cables is sent from the landing station to different data centers.

AFR-IX Telecom, the company that owns the landing station, is able to install in Barcelona CLS up to 8 submarine fiber-optic cables, which run along the seabed from the Barcelona area in the cities of Marseille and Genova.

Norman Albi, CEO of AFR-IX Telecom, highlighted the importance of the project for the company: “We are proud to contribute our experience and build the first landing station in Catalonia with international reach, which will place us in a privileged position in southern Europe and other continents with fast and reliable connections ”.

It is important to note that routes for the installation of a submarine cable are thoroughly inspected and selected in order to minimize environmental impact and maximize cable protection. Properly installed, they have a neutral and even beneficial impact on the environment. In addition, once the installation is done, the cables are monitored 24/7 hours in order to avoid incidents and guarantee their safety.

It will be in Sant Adrià de Besòs

Sant Adrià is the perfect location for the project: it has excellent connections to all the fibre-optic networks iof the country, either road or railway connections, it doesn’t have physical limitations for the entrance of the cables, which will be buried 2 meter deep in the coast, they will not emit any kind of radiation and Sant Adrià coast is less eroded than other areas of Barcelona. Check the location here. 

22 @, where it will be located, is expected to be an innovation hub and to expand to Sant Adrià, and when this happens, Barcelona CLS will play a leading role.

About AFR-IX telecom

AFR-IX telecom is a telecommunications operator founded in 2013 based in Barcelona, which provides Internet and data services to companies and operators in Africa. Currently, in addition to the Barcelona office, AFR-IX telecom has 12 offices in Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali), one in the United States and another in the United Kingdom.