Regional Snapshot

  • Current Systems: 115
  • Capacity:817 Tbps
  • Planned Systems: 9
  • Planned Capacity: 936 Tbps
EMEA Systems

EMEA Systems

8.5.1 Current Systems

Table 11: EMEA Systems, 2014-Present
RFS YearSystemCapacity (Tbps)Length (kms)
2016C-Lion 11441172
2017Greenland Connect North4.8680
2017SEA-ME-WE 52420000
2019Eastern Light

Characterized by steady growth since the early 1990s, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have all seen an increase in development over recent years. This has been one of the most consistent growth regions in the world, owing to its size as well as the important “crossroads” of the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal.

Figure 78 - Systems in Service - EMEA

Figure 78 – Systems in Service – EMEA

While system count has remained relatively steady – with an average of 3 systems ready for service every year since 2002 – the actual lengths of these systems can vary. (Figure 78) The primary factor behind these growth spurts are the SEA-ME-WE systems, as well as large coastal systems ringing Africa. In actual number of systems accomplished, the EMEA region is the most consistent region in the world. It has a growth pattern that is seemingly immune to the industry’s boom and bust pattern seen over the past 15 years.

The EMEA region sees a consistent, annual addition of smaller regional systems. These complement the large, multi-region projects like SEA-ME-WE, ACE, EIG and WACS to name a few. These large projects span multiple regions of the world, rather than smaller, inter-country routes and are the biggest projects the industry tackles. Each system of this kind comes in at well over 10,000 kms per route — sometimes beyond 20,000 kms. Despite the steady system count, inter-regional projects like this cause a huge surge in kilometers installed with 2010 to 2012 seeing the most recent growth spurt for the region.

8.5.2 Future Systems

Table 12: EMEA Planned Systems
RFS YearSystemCapacity (Tbps)Length (kms)
2021Orient Express1300

As mentioned previously, the EMEA region is uniquely characterized as a region of steady activity, with bursts of highly ambitious, region-spanning systems every few years.

Figure 79 - KMS Added - EMEA

Figure 79 – KMS Added – EMEA

The rate of kilometers added per year shows an average increase of 6 percent annually. Recent bursts of 28 percent, 15.5 percent and 18 percent have been observed in 2010, 2012 and 2017, respectively. However, the last 5 years have seen a lower average annual increase of only 3.8 percent. While 2020 and 2022 could add up to 7.5 and 3.7 percent more cable 2021 is projected to add less than half a percent. (Figure 79) Unlike the Americas and AustralAsia regions, the EMEA region is not looking at a considerable drop-off in system activity after 2020.

Figure 80 - Contract in Force – EMEA, 2020-2022

Figure 80 – Contract in Force – EMEA, 2020-2022

There are currently nine systems planned to be ready for service for the period 2020-2022. Currently, 44 percent of these systems have achieved the CIF milestone. (Figure 80) With nearly half of these nine systems being considered viable now, the initial impression positive. Unfortunately, the EMEA region continues to be rife with economic uncertainty and political instability, casting a cloud over any prospective projects.