CEO Debate on Submarine Cable Infrastructure

February 25, 2019

“As we look forward to SubOptic 2019 in New Orleans, we can confidently predict one theme at the conference – the unprecedented change, and pace of change, in our industry,” opened the announcement from the Programme Committee on the upcoming debate at SubOptic 2019.

This session on 9 April at 1:30 pm will feature four of the industry’s top CEO’s to discuss the state of the submarine cable infrastructure today and their vision for the future growth, challenges, needs and opportunities.

Dating back to 1998, the industry has witnessed constant change in the marketplace from optimistic business plans, private build models and the re-emergence of the consortia model in early 2000’s. Not even a decade later the industry welcomed another market player – the Global Data Providers who established new benchmarks and standards for developments.

Possible discussion questions may include:

  • How will the advent of super cables impact the carrier and GCN markets?  Do we see continuing builds in the medium term?
  • In an environment where GCNs invest for their own use and provide Cloud Services, what is the outlook for the international wholesale and enterprise market?
  • What is the optimum business model to commercialize and use the surplus capacity on a cable in the wholesale market?
  • How will the economics of older subsea cables be impacted by the new builds – and why?
  • Given the continuing demand for cable builds and optical solutions, what is the outlook for builders and vendors?   Are those businesses fairly valued?
  • Do we see continuing unbundling and commoditization?
  • What are the key conditions for funding new infrastructure investment?

Below is a little more on the CEO panel invited to be moderated by Ed McCormak:

  • Funke Opeke was selected by Forbes Magazine last year as one of the top fifty women in global technology business.  She is founder and CEO of MainOne, a leading Service Provider, Submarine Infrastructure builder and Data Centre owner in the Western part of Africa.  Funke returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States – where she rose to become an Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division.
  • Dave Coughlan returned to SubCom last year to commence a second term as CEO.  His company has delivered more than 200 completed networks on behalf of many of the world’s leading technology-focused companies and entrepreneurs. It continues to support many of these systems with post sales services; operations, maintenance or network management services.   Previously, Dave had responsibilities as a submarine system developer; funder; owner; service provider and operator.
  • Nigel Bayliff joined Aqua Comms in October 2016. Prior to that, he ran a successful consultancy business and also served as Vice-Chairman of the joint United Nations agencies task force that looked at providing disaster relief and climate information from the global web of undersea cables. Between 2009 and 2013, he served as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Huawei Marine Networks (HMN).  From 2002 to 2008, Nigel was a member of the executive team of FLAG Telecom.  Prior to this, he held senior roles at NTL (now Virgin Media) and Cable & Wireless/Mercury Communications (now Vodafone).
  • Bevan Slattery has acted as CEO and Founder or Co-Founder of several businesses over the last two decades – which contribute significantly to developments in the Australasia and APAC regions.  These included PIPE (submarine network); the Independent Data Centre’s (NEXT DC); SubPartners (building the APX cable systems); Superloop (integrated terrestrial networks in the region); Megaport (an on-demand interconnect business) and Cloudscene (the world’s largest data centre and Service Provider Directory).