Construction On The Galapagos Cable System Has Begun By GCS Pte. Ltd. and Xtera
Xtera Press Release
October 1, 2021
Singapore; Allen, Texas, USA; and Manta, Ecuador – Galapagos Cable Systems Pte. Ltd. (GCS) and Xtera, Inc., a provider of subsea fiber optic systems, are pleased to announce that the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract has been signed for the turnkey build of the Galapagos Cable System between the west coast of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The 1,280km system has been developed to date by GCS, a Singapore based digital infrastructure company working in close cooperation with CNT (Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) the national telecommunications operator of Ecuador.
This contract triggers the project execution which starts with the permitting and design phase, and the marine survey which is already scheduled to follow in early 2022. The system will connect Continental Ecuador with Galapagos Islands, enabling the development of scientific research, commerce, tourism and education.
The new cable, which will go live in Q2 2023, will initially boost bandwidth to the Galapagos Islands by over ten times. President Lasso has increased confidence in the Ecuadorean economy, encouraging the international business community’s inbound direct investment. The Minister of Telecommunications, Vianna Maino, and CNT’s General Manager, Ralph Suástegui, have cleared all of the obstacles to allow this major infrastructure project to proceed. A key benefit of the system is to provide the Galapagos archipelago with high capacity and high quality national and international telecommunications services, both fixed and mobile, fiber optic broadband internet, and 4G mobile services with 5G in the future. With a design capacity of 20 terabits per second, the state-of-the-art submarine system will ultimately increase the regional bandwidth more than 2,500 times.
Xtera will perform the design and construction works on a turnkey basis utilizing their next generation SDM repeater, with cable supplied by Prysmian/NSW and marine installation activities performed by IT International Telecom. Xtera’s subsea implementation combines project management and system integration expertise with solid industry partnerships.
Alexandria Donoghue, Managing Director Galapagos Cable Systems Pte. Ltd., stated that, “GCS' decision to invest in this project was based on the company's opportunity to make a strategic investment in Ecuador that would enable the digital connectivity of the Galapagos Islands to the mainland. This new system allows for unique possibilities; connected services and the IoT will be available to the entire community, bringing with them a wealth of new opportunities, increased scientific research capabilities, and a boost of revenues for existing businesses.”
John Hibbard, Chairman of Galapagos Cable Systems Pte. Ltd., an industry veteran with extensive experience consulting with Pacific Island Governments, noted, “With the wealth of comprehensive research institutions on the Galapagos Islands, this submarine cable system will enable real-time collaboration between the scientists on the islands and their colleagues in their home base.”
Keith Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Xtera, added, “It is our privilege to deliver this environmentally important, state-of-the-art undersea system. Xtera’s agile approach to supply enables GCS to benefit from a turnkey solution which utilizes the best products and services for their requirements. We are living in a time of unprecedented bandwidth demand and Xtera’s expert team will continue to drive important connectivity projects, such as this one, to successful completion.”
About Galapagos Cable Systems Pte. Ltd.
The GCS team has an extensive background in the telecommunications industry and specifically in Subsea Cables. They have successfully implemented remote islands connectivity systems such as the Galapagos Islands in French Polynesia, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomons, PNG, Palau, and FSM, and CNMI. They specialize in providing telecommunications infrastructure that enables exponential bandwidth growth, therefore ‘future proofing' internet growth demand.
Xtera is an innovative provider of subsea and telecom technology. The Company supplies both repeatered and unrepeatered systems, using its high-performance optical amplifiers to deliver traffic directly inland to cities and offering flexibility in working with industry partners to provide the optimum solution.