Before 5G and all the latest connectivity innovations of very recent years, there was cable. Despite all the advancements and new methods of connecting global citizens to the internet, time-tested cable is here to stay. In fact, it’s undersea cables – 380 of them – that hold the responsibility for moving data at high speed between countries and continents. It’s cable that keeps the globe connected. Consider these thoughts from the New York Times:
“Demand for undersea cables will only grow as more businesses rely on cloud computing services. And technology expected around the corner, like more powerful artificial intelligence and driverless cars, will all require fast data speeds as well. Areas that didn’t have internet are now getting access…for the first time more than half the global population is now online.”
Cable truly is forever. There are several interesting trends starting to happen that are important to note as you keep pace with the shifting global connectivity environment.
Domination of Global Undersea Cables
Matt Marshall, Manager of Business Intelligence and Compensation at Innovative Business Solutions, notes: “In a world where everything you hear about is the next big wireless technology, the fact that the real backbone of the internet is still just a wire (fiber optic cable) at the bottom of the ocean is astounding.”
There are a few companies that dominate ownership of these undersea cables. It probably comes as no surprise that Google is part or sole owner of 15 of those 380 cables, and that Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon own or co-own 15 more. Despite clear dominance of certain major players, the fact that only 380 of these cables currently exist forces tech giants to use them cooperatively.
“As the need for the undersea cables grows, the build outs will become more efficient. Greater efficiency equals more cables,” remarks Nicole Heinz, Partner Enablement Manager at Innovative.
More Cables, More Risks
To meet the increasing need for global connectivity that’s driven by digital transformation initiatives and cloud, more and more undersea cables will be needed. These cables must stay secure and protected – physically – to prevent catastrophic interruptions. Damage to a single cable can cause widespread problems, so as the major players plan to lay down additional cables, an intelligent strategy needs to be in place. Protecting undersea cables to help them withstand natural disasters and less-than-ideal physical environments is necessary to keep global connectivity humming along.
The Future Evolution of Cable
According to Shane Fugazy, Vice President of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Innovative, “Cable and the internet in general have been largely responsible in the last decade for connecting the world, making it smaller, and driving the global economy. We don’t see this changing in the next ten years.”
What we do predict is a continued trend toward private companies owning and building out even more undersea cables. Content providers – specifically Comcast – will continue to focus on buying these undersea cables, which they can then lease out to governments around the world. Governments, which are reliant on public funding via means such as raising taxes, are one of the the big-ticket cable customers of the next decade.
Staying Ahead in the Cable Game
Partners need to stay in front of the rapid changes in technology – and stay in front of their customers. The connectivity speeds available, the number of connected devices, and usage overall will continue to increase exponentially. Customers will demand faster and bigger connections than ever before. A deal sold this year with the fastest available connection won’t be as appealing as an upgrade to next year’s even faster option. If you’re not offering the upgrade to your customers, somebody else will.
“The telecom industry can adapt to these changes by partnering with companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft that presumably will start introducing telephony products like security, connectivity, SD-WAN, and others,” advises Ryan Spinosa, Partner Enablement Manager at Innovative.
To continue to succeed, partners must watch what’s happening in the market and align with companies who understand the trends and innovate alongside them.
Cable is the backbone of the technological changes that are driving businesses to seek digital transformation. As you steer your clients toward the connectivity solutions that will keep them competitive in the current environment, Innovative has the resources you need. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you connect your customers with the best fit cable solutions.