Google to build 3 submarine cables to battle Microsoft, AWS for cloud customers

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Google will build three submarine cables in a bid to enhance the network capacity it needs to further challenge cloud rivals AWS and Microsoft Azure. (Google)

Google has hatched a plan to build three submarine cable networks next year with an aim of getting a jump on its key competitors, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Set to be completed in 2019, the first cable will go from Chile to Los Angeles, the second will connect the U.S. to Denmark and Ireland, and the third Hong Kong to Guam.

Google said it will open its Netherlands and Montreal regions in the first quarter of 2018, followed by Los Angeles, Finland and Hong Kong.

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“Together, these investments further improve our network—the world’s largest—which by some accounts delivers 25% of worldwide internet traffic,” Treynor Sloss, vice president of Google's cloud platform, said in a blog post. “Companies like PayPal leverage our network and infrastructure to run their businesses effectively.”

Google Submarine Cable

Named after Marie Curie, the Curie cable, which will stretch from Chile to LA, will enable Google to address cloud customers throughout Latin America. The four fiber-pair system will span over 10,000 km and will link Los Angeles, California, to Valparaiso, Chile, and include a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama.

Havfrue, the cable running from the U.S. to Denmark and Ireland, is focused on providing additional capacity for North Atlantic customers. Built by TE SubCom, Havfrue is being created through a partnership with Facebook.

Finally, the Hong Kong-Guam cable system will help Google reach customers in Australia and the Pacific region.

While these are new submarine cables, Google is hardly a novice in the undersea cabling arena. The internet giant has direct investment in 11 cables, including those planned or under construction. 

Google

Google’s timing to build a new cable to support their cloud business could not be better. Synergy Research Group forecast that the cloud market is growing by over 40% per year.

Google, according to third-quarter data collected by Synergy Research Group, faces strong competition from AWS. AWS continues to increase its cloud service market share despite the emergence of “intense competition.”

The research firm said that “Microsoft, Google and Alibaba are all growing their revenues much more rapidly than Amazon and they continue to gain market share, but the reality is that in this market Amazon remains bigger than its next five largest competitors combined.”