|Topic:||South America – a new interconnection frontier|
|Author:||Erick W. Contag|
Erick Contag is the head of and Chief Operating Officer for GlobeNet. Mr Contag brings more than 20 years of sales, marketing, business development, strategy and corporate management expertise to GlobeNet. His responsibilities include strategic management of the company’s business operations as well as growing the business into new regions. Mr Contag has held executive positions in the US and Latin America including as founder, president and CEO of DataViz, CSO/CTO of Simbacom, and VP of Engineering for Protokol Sistemas. He also has served on the Board of Directors of several companies and organizations. Erick Contag holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa, and an Executive Engineering Management certification from IESA.
IP traffic, industry experts say, is growing fastest in Latin America and the growth is likely to continue. Local operators are seeking international bandwidth to provide the high-speed connectivity that content hungry users want and businesses need. Much of the international IP traffic increase is driven by the astonishing growth of local financial markets, such as the BM&F Bovespa. HD coverage of the World Cup and Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro 2014 and 2016 respectively) will also increase traffic greatly.
The rapidly expanding South American marketplace has experienced growth in recent years, led in part by widespread adoption of new technologies, telecommunications advancements, increased cooperation and partnership amongst service providers, along with the increasing activity by financial trading communities in this region, to name a few. According to Cisco traffic forecasts, IP traffic is growing fastest in Latin America, followed closely by the Middle East and Africa. According to their expectations, traffic in Latin America will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 51 per cent between 2009 and 2014. The drivers Let’s take a closer look at what end-user clients require and how they want it delivered. With the influx of new content globally and the voracious appetite by the end-user to consume the content, service providers are seeking new platforms and creating new service bundles to provide the content over a variety of devices and transmission mediums such as 3G and 4G wireless networks, smart-phones, ultra high-speed broadband, and digital TV. We are also witnessing exponential demand growth for high capacity HDTV and 3DTV live video content. The recent World Cup held in South Africa was a small taste of what we can expect for the World Cup and Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2014 and 2016 respectively, where we expect all events to be covered in HD. Service providers need to anticipate the demand for high-bandwidth terrestrial and submarine fibre-optic networks. Optical fibre content transport is ideally suited, reliable, fast and cost-effective to complement, but most likely to substitute, existing copper, satellite, and wireless solutions. At the edge, end-users will expect to watch games and replays on wireless HD devices for instant gratification. In order to accomplish this, more and more carriers and content providers are partnering to create multi-service relationships to address the growing demand throughout the Americas for broadband access by households, as well as businesses demanding increased capacity and services. With the region experiencing commercial, social and technological integration, providers are embarking on projects that will further integrate networks and connect countries – increasing traffic, expanding capabilities, and uniting the people of the region. This is the interconnected world we live in today. An example of this is that, as reported by ABI Research in 2010, Latin America will become one of the fastest growing mobile capital expenders with over ten per cent compound growth between 2009 and 2015. In response to customer needs – namely, wide-spread access to cellular services – mobile operators and carriers are increasing capital expenditures to improve and expand their networks. Operators are seeking to expand their data and IP networks to interconnect countries within the continent, and to upgrade their ability to operate submarine cable fiber networks between continents. These improvements, while increasing access and availability to the end-user, should also double capacity on existing routes, to the benefit of all. The market opportunity There is a large opportunity in South America for high quality IP to address the demand for global content, and to provide wireless services for both small and large businesses. Carriers that target residential users also experience growth as more and more households are adopting broadband access and services as prices become more affordable. Smartphones are growing at a very fast pace in Latin America; smartphone manufacturers such as RIM, for example, announced they are now manufacturing Blackberry devices in Brazil due to local market demand. Another need to consider is due to the growing popularity of South American trading entities such as the Brazilian-based BM&F Bovespa, one of the largest exchanges in the world in terms of market value, the second largest in the Americas, and the leading exchange in Latin America. Generic Financial Exchange picture from iStockphoto Today’s trading entities require very low latency and redundant network connectivity to ensure that their financial transactions will be processed with speed and accuracy. Traders and exchanges also require global access so they can quickly move transactions from one exchange floor to the next, with the necessary speed, service availability, and precision required to remain competitive in the financial field. International carriers which provide international capacity between North and South America over advanced fibre-optic cable system have seen a boom in recent years connecting carriers serving the financial industry, especially to and from Brazil. Traders, financial institutions and investment companies throughout South America rely on advanced networks to conduct trades faster and more efficiently to gain competitive advantages in serving their client bases. Carriers rely upon secure capacity to access other key trading cities throughout the Americas, for fast and direct connectivity. GlobeNet network map One connected world So how are carriers and wholesale providers ensuring that capacity is reliable and available in these bandwidth-driven times? Perhaps the most important technological asset we have is the ability to interconnect. Today, more than ever, service providers are partnering together to hand-off data seamlessly and to better manage the end-user’s experience. In Brazil, subsea networks seamlessly interconnected with national terrestrial networks, to provide end-to-end, fiber-based services to local carriers. Finally, as networks sprawl across the globe and back, the human experience – the relationships between us and the need to communicate – are still the very core of telecom – of our interconnectedness. Whether from one financial exchange to another or a streaming video of a sports event, there’s a basic need for human connectivity – and we all expect superior quality with this experience. It’s the relationships between carriers, the deployment of the latest network technologies and low latency routing, and the support that engineers and technical support teams give customers that ensure this high quality, human experience.