The first session of the Naked Truth about Submarine Cables will deal with bare facts on the Atlantic.  The event is being attended by roughly 75 people from the industry.

“Various Cables have been announced, not much has happened.” Presenter Eric Handa starts with a strong statement.  He comments on how equity has been a real problem in the area.

“There's a tremendous amount of need for the route,” says Handa, but providing for an aging network is a definite issue.

“2014 is certainly a key year.  We'll see is the systems that are announced will step up and get some equity financing.”

Handa points out that as an industry we have to avoid the pitfalls see in 99 – 2011 when systems were set up but lost financing within two years.

“There is an opportunity as the infrastructure is aging, for decommissions.”  Handa suggests that decommissions are a real possibility by 2016, and this may be an opportunity for replacing these systems with newer technology.

The next presenter is John Hibbard, CEO of Hibbard Consulting Pty Ltd, who gives a few notes on the Pacific.

“In regard to the pacific… it really is such a healthy piece of region,” says Hibbard.  The sale of capacity has been a fairly stable market in the Pacific.  As for how likely a potential increase in the demand, Hibbard says there's potential, but no guaranteed demand.

“Upgrades are very much a key ingredient.” Hibbard says that upgrades are how most new capacity is going to be achieved in the area.

“Cables that we thought couldn't be upgraded are.” New upgrade technology has only increased the upgrading potential in the Pacific.  “It's very hard not to go past the idea of upgrading versus buying a new one (cable).”

“There's a lot of places in the Pacific that don't have a cable.”  There are small and emerging economies that are creating a market for new systems.  New routes being explored include south of the Philippines.

There are also new markets for replacing aging cables in the Pacific that can't be upgraded, according to Hibbard.

One cable being talked about is what Hibbard refers to as the Google cable.  It will be the first cable for some time that is Trans-pacific, and it will take advantage of the Chinese market.

In 2014, according to Hibbard, the new cable APG will provide a greater amount of capacity to Singapore.

In the south Pacific, two cables have recently gone in: the Interchange cable and the Tonga Cable.  In the same area, the TGA cable will replace another aging cable.  Other, larger cables that are proposed are Hawaiki and the APX East, both of which cover a substantially larger area.  “Both of those cables we'll obviously watch with interest.”

The last region that is being discussed is the Middle East and North African region.  It's being presented by Amr Eid, COO of Gulf Bridge International.

Cables that are connecting to the Middle East area include: Jadi, RCN, EPEG, GBICS, and MEETS.

Eid speaks on the idea to create dedicated corridors through many areas to promote business in the area.  “Having cables in the desert provided by private operators will provide some neutrality,” which Eid says will provide some protection.

In Africa “more of the operators in East Africa are landing more cables,” says Eid.  There are many new connection between the region and Europe, but doesn't continue the connection to North Africa.

“If we look again at all the trafic coming from Africa, more than 80 percent goes to Europe,” says Eid.

“And that's the Bare Facts from around the world,” concludes moderator Paul McCann.