Latin American Nautilus, a company that Telecom Italia controls (70%) along with three companies in which Telecom Italia also has major share interests, Telecom Argentina, Entel Chile and Entel Bolivia (10% each), has sealed an agreement with Global Crossing for the acquisition of 18,000 km of dark fiber in Latin America.
The acquisition lays the foundations for the building of the first section of an integrated backbone with high-speed data and Internet capacities that will connect all three South American countries to each another and to the US Internet network.
The value of the operation is roughly $360 million. In addition, Global Crossing has entered a $88-million deal with Mediterranean Nautilus, a carriers´ carrier 51 percent controlled by Telecom Italia, to acquire a dark fibre infrastructure that will connect Italy with Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.
Global Crossing has also signed a $50-million contract with Elettra, a Telecom Italia subsidiary, for the long-term lease of a ship for the laying and maintenance of submarine cables. Global Crossing has already provided Telecom Italia with fiber optic systems for the building of a European backbone, the first section of which (Milan-Zurich-Frankfurt-Paris-London) was activated at the end of July 2000.
Latin American Nautilus is aiming to become the principal operator in Latin America for data and Internet transmissions and aims to win more than 20 percent of the market share for connectivity and international services. The company will manage a high-capacity submarine and terrestrial fiber optic stretching over a total of 30,000 km.
Via its three South American shareholders and other telecom companies, Latin American Nautilus will deliver international city-to-city Internet connections as well as housing and Web hosting services for all telecommunications operators, including emerging Internet service providers, content providers and application providers.