Light Reading

Google's Game for Another Subsea Project

Dan O'Shea
8/11/2014
50%
50%

Google is involved in another submarine cable project -- at least its third in the last six years -- as it continues to make fiber networks a bigger part of its business.

The web giant is one of the partners in the FASTER subsea consortium, which just tapped NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) to build out a $300 million Trans-Pacific cable. The other partners in FASTER -- China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), China Telecom Global, KDDI Corp. , Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) and Global Transit -- are telecom heavyweights in their own right, but the standout here is Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), as the company continues its assault, by land and by sea, on the fiber network sector. (See FASTER Subsea Partners Tap NEC for New Cable.)

Google also invested in the Trans-Pacific Unity Cable and the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) in recent years, and often has been mentioned as a potential candidate to acquire submarine cable operations, though the latter has yet to happen. Google's involvement in the FASTER project had been rumored in recent months and was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. (See TE SubCom Upgrades SJC Cable and Google's Building Unity Underseas.)

In addition to its increasing subsea interests, Google of course also ignited the gigabit broadband craze with its Google Fiber Inc. initiative, and has invested in dark fiber. Through the combination of these efforts, Google reportedly retains ownership in more than 100,000 fiber route miles around the world. Fellow web titan Facebook also has invested in at least one submarine cable and, like Google, has been viewed as a potential acquirer or investor in others (See Eurobites: Google Fiber Eyes UK, Facebook Invests in Subsea Cable and Could Tata Be Facebook's Next M&A Target?.)

Meanwhile, NEC's naming as the FASTER project contractor should not come as much of a surprise, considering that NEC also was involved in building out the Unity and SJC projects, and in addition to Google, those projects have several investors in common with the FASTER cable project. (See NEC Wins SJC Undersea Cable Deal and Unity Cable Ready for Service.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/14/2014 | 12:04:02 AM
Re: How many fiber miles Google has?
@Daniel: > Every time that someone experiences a slowdown of either of these > companies' services it is a problem° working in a company that provides Long Haul, Last Mile both wired and wireless in multiple countries; I can tell that sub sea fiber problems are very rare. Mostly its the last mile and access networks that are the issue.
nasimson
100%
0%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/13/2014 | 11:56:12 PM
Re: Telco
@Clark: Putting my wild hat on, I see Google launching GTalk texts, calls and video calls, not just on Gmail as it currently does, but on its entire Android Base. That will make Google the biggest global carrier rival to Vodafone, DT, Telenor etc. The number of Android users surpass Gmail users and that is the key to a new business.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/13/2014 | 8:15:15 AM
Is Google a carrier?
The fact that Google is carrying on with its project of making fiber networks a part of its business is very encouraging. The only thing that I do not really understand is when we should stop considering Google as an OTT player so that we can now consider it as a carrier. I also do not understand whether the 100000 fiber miles owned by Google are inclusive of all their metro and LH dark fiber or not. I also tend to think that the 100000 fiber miles are exclusive of Google itself.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/12/2014 | 2:32:18 PM
Re: another subsea
After going through this article, I've concluded that goggles massive investment in subsea projects is a good venture. it is just trying to invest in projects that it considers worth while. They might have a common objective but Google and Facebook are two very independent and different organizations both working on their different lines of work.
jaytee
50%
50%
jaytee,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/12/2014 | 12:46:16 PM
Google goes FASTER
No great surprise really , google own a fp on Unity so they ahve to have something simialr to back it up and FASTER is the only system that allows them that option. Its an old adage that what do you need when you get your first fibre optic cable, answer another one.

But its sensible strategy for them since why would they want to buy from a carrier when they have bigger requirements.

However this deal highlights the disparity between US and Asian carriers. Lots os Asian partners for the system just Google at the US end and they are not a carrier-or are they?

They do not sell capcity but they do trade it and their investment behaviour can impact the capcity market in countries they operate in as this case illustrates.

 

food for thought
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
8/11/2014 | 10:03:23 PM
Re: Telco
I guess Google's not a carrier because apart from its Kansas experiment it doesn't sell capacity to others. 
danielcawrey
100%
0%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/11/2014 | 8:22:15 PM
Re: How many fiber miles Google has?
Both Google and Facebook rely on these cables to ensure a quality product. That may seem obvious, but I would argue it is not readily apparent.

Every time that someone experiences a slowdown of either of these companies' services it is a problem.

Being able to have better control of fiber is key - Google and Facebook don't talk about it much, but that's the truth. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/11/2014 | 5:14:57 PM
Telco
When do we stop considering Google an OTT player and just consider it a carrier?
viper99
50%
50%
viper99,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/11/2014 | 4:01:49 PM
How many fiber miles Google has?
Dan,

You mentioned in your article that Google reportedly has over 100,000 fiber miles.  Is that inclusive of all their metro and LH dark fiber?  I assume that does not include Google Fiber itself (i.e. GPON miles), right?   Do you have a source for this data point?

 

 

 

 
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?