Sparkle sees bandwidth demand on the rise in the American market as more people look to communicate both in the region, as well as connect to the rest of the world. LATAM is also leading the globe with over $1.5 billion of new subsea cable investment in 2017 and 2018 alone. The population continues to benefit from access to fast broadband infrastructure. All of this activity makes for a lot of potential in the region for carriers, service providers, OTTs and enterprises to develop revenue growth and drive even more enhanced capabilities for the area. Sparkle is at the heart of this growth.
Telecom Review sat down with Carmine Sorrentino, CEO Sparkle Americas Inc, in order to get a good overview of Sparkle’s growth in the Americas.
“Our enterprise business is growing along with our wholesale business so our network is well utilized,” Carmine noted. Sparkle's IP backbone (Seabone AS6762) is Tier 1 level and fifth Internet backbone worldwide according to Caida.
The company has invested in half of the Seabras-1 subsea cable – three out of the six dark fiber pairs – connecting New York to Brazil, and in doing so has developed a closed ring that has created diverse routes and secure, high-capacity networks to meet this exponential bandwidth demand. What’s more, the routes bypass two huge, single points of failure: New York and Miami.
“This is in addition to our capacity on the SAC and PCCS Central subsea cable systems that all contribute to help us provide services for our clients” Carmine said.
Seabras-1 lands at NJFX in Wall NJ cable landing station that offers carrier neutral data center capabilities. Sparkle solved a problem that’s plagued the industry for more than 10 years. The company now offers a complete, diverse wet route all the way down to Miami. Now someone in Ashburn, VA can reach the Caribbean without going through Manhattan. The company has also found a way to get to the Caribbean and South America and bypass Miami and New York – completely avoiding two traditional pain points.
Through Seabras-1 and the backhaul extensions from cable landing stations to main PoPs across North America and South America, Sparkle provides easy onward connectivity to the rest of world. The main advantages for Sparkle’s customers using its Seabras-1 fibers include lower latency on the US-Brazil route, which has been developed on a path completely off of the hurricane risk area.
In addition to Seabras-1, Sparkle saw an opportunity to invest in a submarine cable to offer diverse routes via Florida and the Caribbean. Dark fiber on the cable was purchased and lit. “We needed a solution to connect this cable to Miami. We looked at many terrestrial solutions and nearly the whole environment options were not of high quality, so we decided on this underused submarine cable that runs from Tuckerton, NJ to Boca Raton, FL,” noted Federico Porri, CTO for Sparkle Americas. The result is a complete, diverse connection from New Jersey all the way to Sao Paolo with many secure, reliable route options and off-shoots along the way. Sparkle has opened a new Point of Presence (PoP) in Fortaleza to support the growing demand for international connectivity in Brazil.
The company operates in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Salvador and the new PoP is the fourteenth in the country, consolidating Sparkle as a leading global Tier-1 backbone in Latin America.
Sparkle recently added spectrum capacity on the Monet submarine cable system connecting Brazil to the United States. With this addition, Sparkle enhances its regional backbone providing five diversified routes between North and South America.
Monet is a new generation cable spanning 10,556 km and connecting Boca Raton, Florida, to both Fortaleza and Sao Paulo in Brazil. With the new cable, Sparkle increases the overall redundancy of its backbone that now provides five diversified routes between North and South America thanks to its extensive submarine infrastructure that includes three undersea “digital highways”: Monet and Seabras-1 in the Atlantic and Curie in the Pacific.
With the addition of Monet to its assets in the Atlantic, Sparkle further enhances its Tier-1 Seabone global IP transit service and its capacity solutions, catering to the huge data demand driven by new technologies, media platforms and cloud-based services that require omnipresent internet connectivity.
With Monet, Sparkle continues the expansion of its American fiber optic network, which now counts 56 Points of Presence across US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, a capillary presence in Brazil and the new open landing and connectivity hub in Panama
The PoP is integrated with Sparkle’s global Tier-1 IP backbone Seabone, boasting extensive coverage in Central and South America using points in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
In addition, due to its terrestrial and submarine networks with three ‘digital highways’ Monet, Seabras-1 cable in the Atlantic and Curie in the Pacific, Sparkle offers four routes for connectivity from South to North America, ensuring a top-quality data experience.
Enterprise customers, network providers, ISPs, OTTs and Content and Application Providers can benefit from Sparkle’s IP portfolio which includes the IP Transit service Seabone, DDoS Protection and Virtual NAP.
The DDoS Protection grants customers the option to self-protect networks from attacks and Virtual NAP allows access to the main Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) without the necessity to build any proprietary infrastructure.
Solving a Telecom Pain Point via Diverse, Wet Route
Sparkle studied the options carefully before determining subsea was the way to go. One thing the company noticed was that new terrestrial fiber projects from Atlanta going south – for various reasons – were not being completed.
Sparkle works with backhaul providers at NJFX’s colocation campus, offering a unique architecture, low latency options and secure connectivity. Customers can bypass the congested NYC metro area via Sparkle’s capacity at the NJFX campus. offering a diverse route and alternatives for disaster recovery planning. Fully integrated with Sparkle’s global backbone, the new route enables customers major benefits from lower latency to added diversity.
Curie Subsea Cable
Sparkle has enhanced its American backbone with a new fiber pair on Curie submarine cable connecting Chile to the US.
The Google-owned subsea cable Curie is the first direct US-Chile cable connecting Los Angeles to Valparaiso.
Sparkle’s new fiber pair on Curie will be fully integrated with Sparkle’s global backbone, increasing redundancy and offering a fourth diversified route to directly connect South and North America.
LATAM’S New Superhighway
The solution has been extremely well accepted by the wholesale community. With Latin America’s position as a hotbed of expansion amid improving mobile network capabilities and Internet options, growth is inevitable in this sector.
Sparkle and Trans Ocean Network, a Panamanian telecommunications company, have agreed to form a strategic joint venture in Panama for the construction of an open landing and connectivity center that aims to become the digital hub for all Central America, the Andean region and the Caribbean. Curie has a branching unit to the new Panama Data Center
“Panama Digital Gateway will be a next generation open hub featuring state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructures to satisfy all customers’ requirements” Carmine told us. Located in Panama City, the new building will offer 3,200 square meters of colocation space for over 700 racks and 6 MW of power and will feature the latest security technologies and an expected Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.4.
By establishing a presence in the new hub, OTTs, carriers, financial institutions and corporations will be able to benefit from Sparkle’s global connectivity services - including its global Tier-1 IP transit service Seabone and its capacity solutions – and access to other regional networks. The direct access to submarine cables provides a plus in terms of performance and resilience, as undersea cables are the information highways where Internet and telecommunication services travel at the speed of light, enabling real-time digital services.
“The development of infrastructure in the Americas represents a pillar of Sparkle's strategic plan to consolidate its positioning in the telecommunications wholesale market while reinforcing its offering of digital solutions to enterprises.”, explained Elisabetta Romano, CEO of Sparkle. “The construction of the hub in Panama, a natural crossroad of Central America and a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific as well as a strategic hub between North and South America, is a project of fundamental importance for the landing of new submarine cables and the creation of an ecosystem of interconnected players.”
José Alejandro Rojas Pardini, Minister of Facilitation of Private Investments for the Presidency of the Republic of Panama, highlighted that “This project positions Panama as the bridge for data connectivity of Latin America. Its geographical location and competitive advantages make our country an attractive Hub for investments in technology, reinforcing the Digital Hub strategy, which is being carried out by the Government of President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen”.
Sparkle has been included in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Services, Global*. Sparkle is the first Italian-based operator to be listed in this report among 18 network service providers with global coverage evaluated for their Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute.
According to this Gartner report “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the true value of agility for enterprise networks, as enterprises have had to rapidly change working practices, accelerate digital and cloud transformations, and cope with rapidly changing business circumstances”. The report also states that “New WAN technologies, especially SD-WAN and cloud connectivity, are transforming the enterprise network and enabling new agile sourcing approaches, better suited to rapidly changing enterprise needs”.“We are proud to be included in this Gartner Magic Quadrant Network Services, Global report”, says Carmine. “We believe that this acknowledgment validates our expansion into the global networking services arena and our effort to build innovative solutions that support the digital transformation of the enterprises as well as our constant focus to improve customer experience.”