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A new submarine cable linking Brazil and Portugal has gone live as part of efforts around improving connectivity in the South American country.
The undersea link is 6.200km long, connects the Brazilian city of Fortaleza to Sines in Portugal, and allows data traffic at a speed of 100 Tbps, with 60 milliseconds.
The project conducted by EllaLink with support from the Brazilian government was launched on June 1. The initiative started in 2015 with the supply contract awarded to Alcatel Submarine Networks in 2017 and equity fund Marguerite joining as the sponsor in 2018.
According to the executive secretary at Brazil's Ministry of Communications, Vitor Menezes, the new fiber-optic network, is the first data link connecting Brazil directly to Europe. He noted the cable would boost the telecommunications sector, especially given the imminent arrival of 5G technology. There was one cable connecting Brazil to Europe, Atlantis II, which was old with limited capacity, almost exclusively used as a telephony link.
As well as the technical advantages, Menezes argued that the activation of the links is also relevant as it will bring Brazil closer to Europe in commercial terms and also makes the country "a protagonist" in a new "digital decade" ahead. The infrastructure is expected to enable ultra-fast connectivity, which should benefit scientific research, and improve the quality of streaming services and boost the online games industry. "There is a lot of potential to improve digital businesses and attract investment," Menezes added.
After its activation, the connection will be expanded to stations in the states of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and will also cover French Guiana, Argentina and Chile. At the other end, the cable will connect Lisbon and Madrid, Spain, and the city of Marseille, in France. There are also plans to extend the connection to Africa.
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