Liberty Latin America (LLA) subsidiary Liberty Networks has partnered with Gold Data to create a pan-regional subsea cable system connecting the US and Mexico to Colombia and Panama by combining two cable projects.
Gold Data is currently building its Gold Data 1 (GD-1) subsea cable system, which was first announced last year and initially designed to connect Naples, Florida with Veracruz and Cancun in Mexico. Under the new partnership deal announced on Monday, GD-1 will be combined with a new subsea system, Liberty Networks 1 (LN-1), that will extend GD-1’s reach down to Panama and Columbia.
The combined cable system also gives GD-1 two landing points in Florida – one in Miami and the other in Apalachee Beach.
Ray Collins, LLA's SVP of infrastructure and corporate strategy, said the combined subsea system is designed to offer two diverse routes with the shortest latency from Mexico to the US, providing additional connectivity between the data hubs in Mexico City, Queretaro, and onward to the US as new routes. It will also connect new data hubs in Colombia and Panama to those hubs.
"The new system will seamlessly integrate into our existing subsea meshed platform, adding new routes and materially expanding our capacity,” Collins said. “The LN-1 system can be further expanded to complement our capacity and diversity throughout the Caribbean.”
While the two cables are being designed as a single system, they will continue to be operated as separate segments. Liberty Networks and Gold Data will invest in and operate GD-1 together, while Liberty Networks will fully own the LN-1 leg of the system. No financial details were disclosed, although Gold Data said in 2022 that it would invest US$150 million in GD-1.
The combined LN-1/GD-1 system is planned to be operational by the second half of 2026.
The new system adds more capacity to the companies’ respective portfolios. Liberty Networks currently operates 50,000 km of subsea cable networks and 17,000 km of terrestrial networks connecting 40 countries. Gold Data connects over 156 PoPs and 76 data centres in 35 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.