Microsoft announces investment and new partnerships in subsea optical fiber networks


Today, Microsoft announced new partnerships and investments in subsea optical fiber networks across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. In an announcement at International Telecoms Week, the annual conference for the global telecom wholesalers community, Microsoft’s Managing Director of Network Enablement David Crowley stated their investments just got stronger today with new partnerships that will help increase data speeds and capacity while lowering latency for their cloud infrastructure.

Across the Atlantic, Microsoft made deals with Hibernia and Aqua Comms to connect their datacenter infrastructure between North America and Ireland as well as the United Kingdom. In the Pacific, Microsoft announced they have joined the New Cross Pacific Consortium, comprised of China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, KT Corporation, SoftBank Mobile Corp, and TE SubCom. See map below for the planned construction of the New Cross Pacific Cable Network.

Microsoft announces investment and new partnerships in subsea optical fiber networks

Crowley also states that under Sataya Nadella’s vision of Microsoft being a mobile-first, cloud-first company, their Commercial Cloud division grew by 106% and the company needs a strong subsea strategy “ensure our customers experience high availability access to their data.”

Microsoft has definitely been betting heavy on the cloud with Azure and Office 365 as well as hoping Windows 10 will power the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution in which many enterprises are competing. To be able to handle the data that will consume global capacity in the coming years as billions of more devices come online, it more than makes sense for Microsoft to be heavily investing in currently unused fiber optic capacity, as well as investing in the construction of new state of the art networks like the NCP Consortium’s.

Crowley concluded his announcement by stating “competition in the cloud and infrastructure space continues to heat up. But it’s not a battle that will be won on just cloud or infrastructure alone, but instead on holistic innovation and providing value to customers from the ‘sea to the sky’.”

Microsoft is making significant investments in the cloud and infrastructure, but time will tell with the launch of Windows 10 and continued growth of their Commercial Cloud division, if Microsoft’s vision is enough of a holistic innovation with significant value to customers as competition increases.

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