Microsoft announced it is partnering with a number of telecom companies as part of a plan to connect its data centers sprawled across the world by using undersea fiber optic cable system. The company wants its customers to gain faster access to data and have lower latency rates.
The deal involves building the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network that will connect several points in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and China with the U.S. West coast.
Microsoft also entered a deal with Hibernia in order to achieve faster connectivity between the U.K., Ireland and Canada. A similar deal was also made with AcquaComms which, when finalized, will utilize the company's upcoming AEConnect cable that will establish connections between Shirley, NY and the West Coast of Ireland. The cables will run through Halifax, Canada, Ballinspittle, Ireland and Brean, U.K.
"These cables will help deliver data at higher speeds, with higher capacity and lower latency for our customers across the globe," says David Crowley, managing director at Microsoft for network enablement. "As people and organizations expect data and information at their fingertips Microsoft must have an infrastructure that can deliver the cloud services, including Azure, which our customers need to support their global businesses."
Microsoft notes that its subsea strategy is an integral component of its cloud services expansion scheme. This includes Azure and Microsoft 365.
According to Crowley, Microsoft, over the past nine months, has been investing heavily in terrestrial dark fiber and subsea capacity while entering into fiber-focused deals which span various oceans and continents. The New Cross Pacific Consortium involves dealings with TE SubCom, SoftBank Mobile Corp, KT Corporation, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile.
More importantly, the new cables will allow Microsoft to keep pace with rival companies as cloud costs continue to drop. Google and Facebook already made investments in undersea cables which run through Asia.
"When we look to the future with these investments, we believe our customers will see that Microsoft is pulling together all the components necessary to make its cloud services the most reliable, accessible and secure," added Crowley. "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."