Letter to a friend: "Dunant Project: a clear case!"



My dear friend,

Henry Dunant is the International Red Cross founder and Dunant is now the name of the US- France cable project that Google is planning with the help of Orange. For its USA-Chile project Google is picking Curie (Marie Curie) while Monet was chosen in a previous case. One would expect an European to be proud of that I guess? But, I cannot avoid thinking that the choice of these great figures is only a kind of concession to the “Old Europe”. In reality these two large cables will be built by the American TE Subcom through a direct award process.

I can hear you reacting, my friend: «And then what? It’s competition! In a way to be efficient, to move rapidly, Google activates their relation with TE SubCom, they use the services of Orange for their French landing and they polish their image with these Nobel prices!! It is a Google project, my friend, carrying the Google way! That’s it! »

I understand all this! The GAFAs* needs their own global network and have it built at their pace, the way they want. A partnership with one or more suppliers gives them a priority, good prices and access to the most powerful technologies! Nothing new on earth, this is “déjà vu”. We seem to be back to the old times when a handful of dominant carriers were pushing their pawns on the chessboard with a national supplier in their back. This was when AT&T was the Google and BT the Facebook of the time!

In contrast with Europe, China has closed its door to Google. So, Google cannot play here the same music. Google will certainly not pick up the Chinese Nobel price Liu Xiaobo. China has developed its own set of “GAFAs”, the so called BATX, namely Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi. And now China has clearly started to have its own global network built by its national supplier Huawei. Local carriers in Asia, Africa and Latin America are only keen to give access. It will soon be the same in Europe and UK!

A bipolar world is on the way, my friend, and two webs, two global networks carrying the two superpowers services, ideas, cultures, together their good and their mud!

It looks too late for the atomized and exhausted Europe to build a third pillar. The European citizen is widely “googelized” and one can see that the Orange and Telefonica have already lower their flag. The “European Google” QWANT is bravely engaged in a “David versus Goliath” combat! The European market will not resist to the Chinese Tigers offerings more than they resist to the American Gorillas!

May be less so ! “Open Sesame”. We will all rush into the Alibaba’s cave!

Jean Devos

AQEST Senior Advisor


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