New submarine fiber optic cable systems have been entering service in 2017 at a pace exceeding one per month.  So what is happening to the project pipeline?

This is one of the key questions to ask when analyzing the submarine cable market.  We have seen too often in the past that the pipeline does not fill up – that when a large number of new cables enter service, there is a noticeable drop in activity as the market takes its time to absorb all that new capacity.  This often led to bust periods in the boom-and-bust cycle of submarine cables. 

Things are different now.  Market forces began to change in the middle of this decade.  Capacity is being absorbed more quickly, while other factors are driving demand for more and more cables.  So what’s going on with the pipeline now? 

Well the pipeline seems to be filling back up.  New supply contract awards are up 25% (in terms of the amount of submarine cable called for in the awards) and announcements of new submarine cable projects are up 20% over 2016

Nov 2017 awards and announcements2

While the submarine cable market can be volatile, it appears to be showing considerable strength at this time. 

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