Galapagos Cable Systems and Xtera to deliver advanced submarine network to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

March 19th, 2021 – Ecuadorian President, Lenin Moreno, announced last week the deployment of a submarine cable system to the Galapagos Islands. The initiative, which started in 2018, has been driven by CNT EP who performed the feasibility studies which led to investment from Galapagos Cable Systems (GCS S.A.). Together with their strategic partner Xtera, GCS will spearhead the construction of a state-of-the-art 1,280km submarine cable system between Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The new network, which will go live in 2022, will boost capacity to the Galapagos Islands initially by over ten times. The full design capacity of the cable system is 20 terabits per second, capable of providing over 2,500 times more than the current bandwidth available in the region.

The system will connect Manta-Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, in St. Cristobal; Port Ayora, in Santa Cruz and Port General Villamil in the Isabela Island, enabling the development of scientific research, commerce, tourism and education.  A key benefit of the initiative is to provide the Galapagos archipelago with high capacity and high quality national and international telecommunications services both fixed and mobile, wideband internet with fiber optics, 4G mobile service and 5G in the future.

Xtera, a well-established provider of subsea fiber optic solutions, will perform the design and construction works on a turnkey basis utilising their innovative SDM repeater, cable supplied by Prysmian/NSW and marine installation activities performed by International Telecom. Xtera’s innovative offering combines turnkey project management and system integration expertise with solid industry partnerships to deliver high capacity and flexible networks.

Wladimir Vargas, MD of Galapagos Cable Systems, embraced the opportunity at the opening ceremony in Ecuador stating, “In pursuing this project we have learnt how wonderful this country is and how amazing the possibilities are.” Thanking the President, Government Agencies and CNT he added “With this new cable system, connected services and the IOT will be available to the entire community, bringing with them a wealth of new opportunities and a boost of revenues for existing businesses.  I look forward to working with Xtera to make the Galapagos Islands the best-connected place to live in harmony with the environment.”

Keith Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Xtera added his commitment to the project noting “By selecting Xtera, GCS have chosen the best optical technology available in the world today. Our teams of industry experts will deliver the Galapagos cable system to the highest levels of quality and reliability standards. We look forward to delivering you with an advanced network capable of supporting your increasing data demands, thank you for this tremendous opportunity.”

About GCS

The GCS team have an extensive background in the telecommunications industry and specifically in Subsea Cables. They have successfully implemented systems requiring remote island connectivity such as the Galapagos Islands, in French Polynesia, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomons, PNG, Palau, FSM and CNMI. They specialise in providing telecommunications infrastructure that enables exponential bandwidth growth therefore ‘future proofing’ internet growth demand.

About Xtera

Xtera is an innovative provider of subsea systems and telecoms technology. We supply both repeatered and unrepeatered networks, delivering traffic directly between data centres.  Xtera challenges industry norms and can create unique solutions that are tailored to each individual customer whether that be for the provision of an open architecture system or individual network elements.

Xtera combines turnkey project management and system integration expertise with solid industry partnerships. We design, build and commission solutions that deliver high capacity and flexible network capability end-to-end. Post-delivery, our specialist team is on hand 24 hours a day to provide technical support to system operators. Visit us at or follow us on LinkedIn.  You can contact us at [email protected] .