EllaLink is planning to extend its Europe-South America subsea cable to French Guiana.

The company this week said it has been awarded a contract by SPLANG (the Local Public Company for the Digital Development of Guyana) for a 2,100km extension to the existing EllaLink cable to land in the South American French territory.

EllaLink french guyana
– EllaLink

The new branch will land in Cayenne, French Guiana, and include two fiber pairs. The system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks, but timelines for development weren't shared.

Vincent Gatineau, SVP of subsea infra development at EllaLink, said: "The construction of this new submarine branch represents an important milestone for the EllaLink network mission and a confirmation of its savoir-faire to connect underserved territories.”

He continued: “This initiative will not only reinforce the French Guiana infrastructure resilience but also generate a change of paradigm for the whole Caribbean region's connectivity pattern. The EllaLink team is very proud to partner with SPLANG in such a relevant project and to have been awarded with the financial support of the CEF program."

The original EllaLink cable was lain between late 2020 and 2021, and runs from Fortaleza in Brazil via Cabo Verde and Madeira to Sines in Portugal, with a branch to Morocco. The 5,900 km cable offers around 100Tbps across four fiber pairs.

State-owned SPLANG manages and operates electronic communications infrastructures deployed by the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana. The project will include funding from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program.

Marie-Lucienne Rattier, president of SPLANG, added: "This project marks a new milestone in the SPLANG mission to serve the French Guiana population in accelerating the digital development of our territory. Following the fiber deployment and the satellite project, we're now securing our international connectivity in the long term, ensuring sovereignty and catalyzing the economic growth of French Guiana."

This will be the first trans-Atlantic cable landing at the South American French territory. French Guiana currently has three other subsea cables planned or in operation, with two landing in Cayenne.

The Americas-II cable, laid in 2000, runs from Brazil to Florida via Cayenne, Venezuela, and a number of islands in the region; while 2019's Kanawa cable from Orange connects Kourou in French Guiana to Schoelcher in Martinique. Set to go live later this year, Digicel's Deep Blue One will connect Cayenne to Georgetown, Guyana; Paramaribo, Suriname; and Chaguaramas and Rockly Bay in Trinidad and Tobago.

EllaLink is also planning a new domestic cable system in Portugal between Sines and the Lisbon Metro Area. The new 4.3 Petabits cable will be known as the Olisipo system and is expected to go live in 2024.