Seaborn taps Alcatel-Lucent to build its U.S.-to-Brazil cable network

Seaborn Networks has tasked Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) with building out Seabras-1, a proposed 10,700 km submarine cable system that's designed to provide a direct network route between New York and Sao Paulo, with a branch to Fortaleza, Brazil.

With the network slated to go live in 2014, Seaborn and Alcatel-Lucent said they have begun the process to get necessary building permits and marine survey work.

Alcatel-Lucent will also provide network equipment in addition to project management, system design, installation and system commissioning services.

For this initiative, Seaborn will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters, power feed equipment, and its 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal equipped with its optical coherent technology. Given the unpredictable nature of future bandwidth demands, the 1620 LM will allow Seaborn to upgrade system capacity as needed without interrupting existing customer traffic.

Upon completion, the 100G-capable Seabras-1 system will give service providers and other vertical industry segments such as the financial trading a low-latency network link via a 10, 400 km segment between Sao Paulo and New York. By building out the 350 km branch to Fortaleza, Seaborn Networks said it can also enhance traffic protection in the region.

To date, Seaborn has completed two rounds of funding, although it has not revealed the dollar amount.

Even before one link on the network has been built, Seabras-1 has managed to attract Tata Communications (NYSE: TCL) and Sidera Networks to the table—two service providers that plan to use the cable system as a way to extend their respective networks into Latin America.

What's interesting about Seaborn's Seabras-1 is that Brazil's state-owned telco Telebrás is also going to build U.S.-to-Fortaleza submarine cable as part of a larger plan to improve the country's Internet connectivity with four main regions: the United States, Europe, Africa and the Southern Cone. Similar to other large-scale submarine cable projects, including the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE), Telebrás is also looking for network partners to help build their network.

However, Larry Schwartz, CEO of Seaborn Networks, would not say at that time if his company has spoken to the Brazil-based telco about establishing an alliance after Telebrás announced it would be building out its own new submarine cable network.  

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