Ministry heralds PCCS cable as great leap forward

12 Aug 2013

Ecuador’s Ministry of Telecommunications & Information Society (Mintel) has made a joint presentation with Ecuadorian wholesale carrier Telconet to underline the significant impact of the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) submarine high speed link, which is expected to be ready for service in the third quarter of 2014. Alvaro Armijos, as delegate of Minister Jaime Guerrero, presented details of the in-construction 6,000km-plus Florida-Ecuador consortium PCCS cable, which will improve ‘by 160 times’ the internet capacity ‘throughout Ecuador’, according to Mintel data. The two existing submarine cables landing in the country are the Pan American (PAN-AM) system which was launched in 1999 and is nearing the end of its lifespan with no scope for capacity expansion, and the South America-1 (SAm-1) cable lit in 2001 – a system wholly owned by Telefonica which uses it to serve the entire South American continent. As reported by CommsUpdate in December 2012, a consortium of telecoms operators consisting of UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), Telconet, Setar (Aruba), Telefonica Global Solutions and pan-Caribbean telco United Telecommunication Services (UTS) signed a turnkey contract with Alcatel-Lucent to deploy the 100Gbps-per-wavelength PCCS undersea network linking Jacksonville, Florida to Manta, Ecuador. The PCCS cable will also connect to Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Puerto Rico, Aruba and Curacao, as well as Cartagena in Colombia and Maria Chiquita and Balboa in Panama.

The Mintel-led presentation underlined that the cable’s upcoming landing in Ecuador was being implemented via a coordinated effort between private sector operator Telconet and the government. In his speech, Alvaro Armijos stated that the project represented a synergy of private enterprise and the public sector, and signified that ‘the paradigm of dissociation between the two sectors’ was a thing of the past. He continued: ‘The implementation of the submarine cable represents a breakthrough in telecommunications for the country. It is … the engine to achieve various objectives such as: the revitalisation of the economy, the promotion of innovation and social development.’ Chairman of Telconet, Tomislav Topic, added: ‘This work, of several hundreds of millions of dollars, is of fundamental importance for Ecuador, and it will place it, in terms of connectivity level, ‘First World’ by the end of 2014.’

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