The 8th edition of SubTel Forum’s Annual Submarine Telecoms Industry Report is now available, and has been updated to include a significant design overhaul for this web format – while continuing to provide the most accurate and comprehensive data on the submarine fiber market. The analysis of data collected by the analysts of STF Analytics includes system capacity analysis, as well as the actual productivity and outlook of current and planned systems and the companies that service them.

Click here to view the PDF version of this report.


Welcome to the 8th edition of SubTel Forum’s annual “Submarine Telecoms Industry Report,” which was authored by the analysts at STF Analytics, without whom this report would not be possible.

As always, the annual Industry Report serves as an analytic resource within a quartet of SubTel Forum products including the Submarine Cable Map published every January, the Submarine Cable Almanac published quarterly thereafter, and the virtual Submarine Cables of the World Interactive Map. The Submarine Telecoms Industry Report features in-depth analysis and prognoses of the submarine cable industry and serves as an invaluable resource for those seeking to comprehend the health of the submarine industry. It examines both the worldwide and regional submarine cable markets, including issues such as the new-system and upgrade supply environments, ownership, financing, market drivers, and geopolitical/economic events that may impact the market in the future.

The format of the annual Industry Report has been updated once again, adding sections related to SMART cables, polar projects and offshore energy. As such we have attempted to make a more encompassing view of the submarine fiber industry available to you, our readers, and for the fourth time, have produced this report in house with the assistance of STF Analytics, our industry research and data analysis arm.

Last year’s report was downloaded over 500,000 times or so and was quoted by numerous business journals and periodicals. We are optimistic, yet confident that this year’s edition stands up to the same scrutiny. We hope you’ll agree.

We are thrilled that the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, Mr. Houlin Zhao, provided this year’s foreword, discussing the state of the ITU and its submarine cable related initiatives. Thanks especially to Bruce Howe of University of Hawaii who penned for ITU a comprehensive section outlining the uses and evolution of scientific cables around the world.

In this annual Industry Report, we have identified $5.74 billion in new projects that are being actively pursued by their developers. Of those, $2.4 billion worth are executed contract-in-force, and $1.25 billion of those new, contract-in-force systems are slated for 2020 alone.

We utilized insights from a number of articles from recent issues of Submarine Telecoms Forum Magazine, where necessary, allowing us to better discuss various industry topics. We also received some excellent input from a number of industry super stars, including:

  • Bruce Neilson-Watts, GMSL
  • Derek Webster, Andget Limited
  • Eric Handa, AP Telecom
  • Patrick Faidherbe, AQEST
  • Paul Gabla, ASN
  • Steve Lentz, OSI
  • Stephen Nielsen, SubTel Forum
  • Himmat Singh Sandhu & Siddhartha Raja, World Bank

We would also like to say a special thank you to our sponsors who helped make the annual Industry Report doable:

  • AP Telecom
  • E Marine
  • Hengtong Group
  • STF Analytics
  • WFN Strategies

While the crystal ball will rarely be completely clear, one fact remains – that our more than 170-year-old international enterprise continues to be a thriving, exciting and ever-evolving industry.

In the coming months, we will continue to strive to make available as much new data as possible in a timely and useful fashion – as we say, an informed industry is a productive industry.

Thank you as always for honoring us with your interest in SubTel Forum’s 8th annual “Submarine Telecoms Industry Report.”

Good reading,

Wayne Nielsen

Publisher & President, Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc.

Wayne Nielsen is Managing Director of WFN Strategies, as well as Publisher of Submarine Telecoms Forum.  He possesses over 30 years of experience in the submarine cable industry and developed and managed international telecoms projects in Antarctica, the Americas, Arctic, Europe, Far East/Pac Rim and Middle East. He received a postgraduate master’s degree in International Relations, and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science, and is a former employee of British Telecom, Cable & Wireless and SAIC.  In 2001, he founded WFN Strategies (, which provides design, development and implementation support, as well as commercial and technical due diligence of submarine cable systems for commercial, governmental and Oil & Gas clients.  He has since managed 112 telecommunications projects for 65 international clients, including some 20 regional and 12 transoceanic submarine cable systems. He is the founder and publisher of Submarine Telecoms Forum magazine (, the industry’s considerable voice on the topic.