& cplSiteName &

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?

 

 

 

 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives