Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


EllaLink, the company behind the 6,000 kilometer optical submarine cable linking Europe and South America, announced its intent to connect Portugal and Morocco in a similar fashion.

According to the EllaLink, they have “completed the marine installation of the lowest latency transatlantic cable system between Europe and Latin America.” By extension, the established infrastructure will allow for establishing a sub-nautical cable connecting Europe and Morocco.

The company chose Infinera, and its ICE6 technology to run its network on. The technology will provide a transmission capacity of 100 Terabits per second (Tbps) between Portugal and Brazil, reducing latency by 50% to below 60 milliseconds.

EllaLink added that the network will eventually expand to a 30 Tbps link between Portugal and the autonomous Portuguese island of Madeira, with an additional 40 Tbps link between Portugal and Morocco.

Morocco won’t be the only country benefiting from the expansion of the data framework. EllaLink noted that “network expansions will enable EllaLink to extend its submarine network to French Guiana, Mauritania, the Canary Islands… resulting in the most advanced submarine system connecting Africa, Europe, and Latin America.”

The EllaLink cables are 6,000 kilometers long, and they cost €150 million (MAD 1.6 billion) to set-up. EllaLink is the second cable network linking Europe and South America. The Atlantis-2 cable was established in 2000, connecting Argentina and Portugal. The cable also runs through Brazil, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Senegal.

In 2018, there was another trans-continental cable announced by Spain’s Hemisphere Cable Company (HCC). The cable will connect Fortaleza in Brazil to the Canary Islands and Seixal in Spain with additional subsidiaries in Cape Verde, Casablanca, and Madeira in Portugal.

Although it was announced in 2018, with the aim of completion in 2021, there have been no further news or updates on the status of the cable.

The first cable linking Morocco and Europe was laid down in 2012, subsidized by Maroc Telecom. The 187 kilometers long fiber optic cable called Loukkos, connects the cities of Asilah and Rota (southern Spain).