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Tech Hub: Global protagonism

14:08 14 de November de 2022 Por Daniel Oiticica

Ceará has been consolidating itself as the Brazilian gateway for large international fiber optic submarine cables, data transmitters. This is due to the geographic location of the city of Fortaleza in relation to Europe, Africa and North America. There are currently, in Ceará, 14 large communications capacity submarine cables that arrive in Fortaleza, at the Praia do Futuro, connecting Brazil to the world.

The passage of these cables through Ceará opens possibilities for the development of new companies, new businesses, and even new segments in the service sector. The promising areas will be those of telecommunications, datacenters and cloud computing service providers, thanks to the advantages in terms of speed, latency times and security, as well as activities in research and development (R&D).

“Under these conditions, Ceará has become to be globally important in the area of data communication. The entire Southern Atlantic Hemisphere depends on the existing connections from our state. Thus, telecom companies establish their digital logistic stations here, generating investments, as well as income and highly qualified jobs. Another very important factor is the fact that, by being a data communication hub in this market, we have enormous competitive advantages for attracting other sectors participating in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) productive chain, such as ISP companies, data centers and large global cloud service providers,” says Adalberto Pessoa, Sedet’s special advisor for attracting investments to Commerce, Services and Innovation.

The results can already be seen. In Ceará, the number of data centers has more than quadrupled in two years. One month before the Covid-19 pandemic reached Ceará, the state had three large data centers. Today, this number is more than four times greater, with 13 data processing centers, which represents an increase of 333.3%. Four of them are international operations.

“Infrastructure is extremely important. We need the technology to be available, especially with the internet link, since we work a lot with voice and data. So, we needed to have this availability in the city as well, and the Cariri region was favorable. We have several internet providers in the city, so the technology gets here easily. This was also an important reason for the company to make the decision”, affirms Hudson Mendes, operations executive of AeC, a call center technology solutions company, specialized in customer relationship, which maintains a call center structure in Juazeiro do Norte, with 4 thousand employees.

A good technological base also favors attracting businesses from mega technology industries. Amazon, one of the world’s largest companies, chose Ceará to invest in its data area. On September 23, 2021, the multinational started operation of Amazon Web Services, Inc. The cloud data storage service offers solutions for public and private organizations on demand.

“We recognize Ceará’s constant efforts to modernize the business environment and thank all the members engaged in supporting this expansion project, which will allow us to serve our customers with more excellence,” said Ricardo Pagani, Amazon’s Director of Operations in Brazil, at the time of the inauguration. The company also installed a new Distribution Center (DC), the first in the state and the third in the Northeast, in Itaitinga, Greater Fortaleza, which will serve the entire Northeast region of Brazil.

The telecommunications market in Ceará has been growing above the national average in terms of the number of homes connected with fixed broadband. Data from the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) reveal that in 2022 there will be an increase of more than 165% in data traffic. This type of connection is present in 25% of the homes in Ceará, while the national average is 20%. And the forecast is to exceed 1 million connections by 2025.

Angola Cables, an Angolan multinational operator of fiber optic telecommunications cables that has infrastructure in Fortaleza, and forecasts expansion with the growth of the market.

Ceará’s Digital Belt
Ceará has an internal optical fiber network of more than 140 thousand km, in conjunction with private partners, and is the most broadband-connected state in Brazil. Ceará’s Digital Belt, created in 2007, is made up of an optical fiber backbone containing Rings, Sub-Rings and Branches (branches that come out of the ring) with points that allow for interconnection. It provides high quality internet access to all public bodies in the state and allows the general population to access digital services such as the internet, videoconferencing, Digital TV, mobile telephony, telemedicine applications, correspondence courses, border cargo monitoring, surveillance cameras, among others. It is an indispensable tool for the economic development of Ceará.

The Digital Belt of Ceará, developed by Etice (Company of Information Technology of Ceará), is already fully installed in 133 cities in Ceará, reaching 72% of the municipalities and almost 90% of the population. There are 2,512 points connected by 5,658 kilometers of own fiber. Connectivity integrates, for example, 664 points for the operation of more than 3,400 public safety video surveillance cameras, free Wi-Fi is offered at 94 points in the state, and is present in other services, such as in the areas of health and education. The expansion project for the 184 municipalities, Ceará Conectado, will bring free internet to all cities.

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