While consumers’ dependence on the Internet and content grows more deeply ingrained by the day, demands are rising and worldwide traffic flows are coursing throughout the globe with more intensity than ever. However, as volumes of traffic grow and needs of end users and markets change, the landscape of these international channels evolves, creating numerous implications for the companies that create and support these traffic flows and subsea cable systems.

At this year’s Pacific Telecommunications Council annual conference, PTC’19, this topic is set to be one of the many salient discussions on tap for attendees. Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International, will be providing insights about these global traffic flows and subsea trends in a presentation titled: How Traditional Traffic Flows are Changing: The Eve of New Global Submarine Cable Networks. The presentation illustrates the traditional subsea cable landing points and their position throughout the world, reviewing how they are shifting and what the results of these shifts may be.

Analyzing traditional data versus new subsea developments reveals that undersea infrastructure is migrating, with most new developments being scheduled for the Southern hemisphere instead of near traditional sites such as New York City, London or Tokyo. Though these traditional hubs remain strategic, traffic and bandwidth in African and Latin American regions are on the upswing, and locations like Lisbon and Marseille are amping up to become key providers for new markets.

However, with these shifts in routes come unforeseen challenges. Touching on some of these roadblocks, Ivanov’s presentation cites and discusses available bandwidth as one of the issues to overcome in the new landscape. For instance, it is evident that information exchange is challenged between the Middle East and Europe due to the lack of equal bandwidth capabilities between the regions. This too affects traffic flows between Asia and Europe, Africa and Europe and beyond.

One of the most prominent trends reaching across much of this landscape is the idea that content is a key driver for change, boosting demand across the board and altering the way these traffic flows operate as a result. The question of content and its impact on global infrastructure is another facet that Ivanov’s presentation delves into. He discusses the drive for leading content providers to join or build their own subsea systems, and how these consortiums affect traditional major routes. In essence, as this paradigm shift is realized, it is actively impacting the ‘ownership’ value chain of these content delivery systems, from within the data center, through longhaul connectivity and to the last mile (to the end user). Ultimately, the entry of content providers into the subsea cable market is reshaping the traditional business model for operators.

As we look ahead at the ‘sea of change’ taking shape in the submarine cable network landscape, history can help us understand the necessary shifts that may be key to supporting these ongoing changes and demands on global infrastructure. Ivanov’s presentation provides a strong framework for envisioning the infrastructure needs of tomorrow while understanding the historical drivers that brought us where we are today. Interested individuals will want to attend or tune in to the presentation to gain deeper insights into the importance of hubs, network diversity, growth of subsea systems, evolving business models, new entrants and beyond. This presentation will be taking place on January 23, 2019 from 9:00-10:15.