Tampnet Buys BP's Offshore Fiber Cable System in Gulf of Mexico


Norway-based Tampnet which operates offshore high-capacity communication networks has completed the acquisition of BP's Gulf of Mexico (GoM) offshore fiber cable network, in what Tampnet says is one of the most significant milestones in the history of the company.

Tampnet says that the deal replicates Tampnet’s position in the North Sea, and cements the company’s ambitions and willingness to invest in GoM and confirms its position as the leading telecommunications provider in the basin.

"After having received regulatory and governmental approvals a couple of weeks ago, all documents were signed and the transaction completed at noon CET Tuesday, March 30. The agreement with BP was signed in July 2020," Tampnet said without disclosing the financial details of the deal.

Trygve Hagevik, CCO Tampnet said: "We promise to nurture, develop and expand the fiber network and related technologies and services over the next 15-20+ years. Our aim is to grow our GoM business through providing exceptional value to our customer base - as the industry continues to leverage new technologies and digitalization in their quest for safer, greener, and more efficient operations offshore. As with our North Sea network, we will make it simple, risk-free and cost-effective to connect new field developments to the existing fiber infrastructure - as opposed to the costly alternative of running new fiber to shore.Credit: Tampnet

Tampnet plans to expand and develop the subsea fiber infrastructure and says it has already kicked off a turnkey fiber project – adding 300km to the existing 1200km of fiber and connecting an additional 2-3 deepwater assets. 

Tampnet’s infrastructure build-outs typically also include 4G/5G LTE coverage - providing a wireless extension of the fiber connectivity and allowing access for drilling, subsea and marine operations around the fields. 

"Additional LTE coverage from Tampnet also means improved welfare and safety in the Gulf of Mexico. AT&T subscribers can now use their regular subscriptions offshore at no extra cost and with no limitations on data speeds. This includes the recently launched Voice over LTE service (VoLTE)," the company said.

Furthermore, Tampnet said that AT&T coverage also means FirstNet coverage - the new, national and government-led first response network built by AT&T. 

"The value of FirstNet and roaming, on a ubiquitous and seamless network during a serious offshore incident, would be invaluable. Tampnet’s expansion and development of the GoM fiber network will continue to improve on and add to this," the company said.

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