25 Years of Pioneer Consulting: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

December 18, 2023

25 Years of Pioneer Consulting: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

By Howard Kidorf

Twenty-five years ago when Pioneer Consulting first stepped into the waters of the subsea telecommunications industry, the internet seemed like a veritable telecom technology tsunami. During the froth and fervor of the dot-com boom that had begun just a few years earlier, fortunes would be made and lost as the nascent online sector sought its sea legs. Telecom was the place to be. 

At the time, Pioneer was a bit different than the company is today. For one thing, we focused primarily on submarine telecom research and reporting. We gathered and analyzed data and made observations on market developments and industry activity. The number of websites in 1998 was 2.4 million – a tenfold increase from two years prior. Two years later that number would be 17 million. The sky seemed to be the limit – and the seabed was the digital circulatory system for global communications.  

When the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, many in our industry feared that submarine telecommunications would never recover. But we disagreed – there was still opportunity on the horizon. Once the sector shook itself out and reset, we pivoted to the global project management, engineering, permitting, and (still!) market research organization you know today. 

In the beginning, we couldn’t possibly have predicted how subsea telecom would change. But, what we’ve always done is look forward and adapt. As the industry shifted, we added new services and our core team expanded geographically. Today, we provide everything from permitting and feasibility studies to advisory services and shipboard representation. Our team is based in almost every corner of the globe – North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and many places in between! 

In 1998 only 3% of the world’s population had internet access. Today it’s over 65%. As we celebrate 25 years of involvement in this exciting underwater world, we are more eager than ever to see what tomorrow holds. To provide a glimpse, here are two perspectives on the future of submarine telecommunications. 

It’s called “tried and true” for a reason – Sure, Space-X’s Starlink low-orbit network may look bright and shiny, but private mini-satellites will not be driving subsea cables out of business anytime soon. After all, while cable technology and deployment processes have changed over the years, the value proposition of sturdy, high-speed cables on the sea floor has been undeniable since their inception in the 1850s. The technology is agile, adaptable, and able to handle the unceasing demand for faster internet and capacious bandwidth. 

Perhaps the biggest advantage that optical cables have is that they are already proven. We can certainly expect innovations to cable technology in the future, such as more fiber pairs, advanced opto-electronics, or multi-core fiber pairs, but at the end of the day, cables are still “tried and true.”   

Subsea cables are the telecom arteries of the world, connecting billions of people and places every second. Without them, you wouldn’t be reading this blog! 

Internet growth and associated new technologies will become a focus – We’ve come a long way since the dot-com bubble burst. Today we spend a good part of our lives online, whether for work or play. No crystal ball is needed to predict that internet demand will inexorably increase. Indeed, one forecast estimates that nearly 80% of the world’s population will have internet access by 2028. 

What will be interesting to see is how new technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), may impact bandwidth availability. As AI-enabled platforms and applications become more prevalent, it will be important to ensure that global connectivity does not experience any lag or require increased cybersecurity measures as a result. This development is one of many that we are closely following. 

Cheers to a quarter-century 

The past 25 years have been incredible, enriched by the work of talented colleagues, visionary clients, and committed industry professionals. The time has also been marked by the successful completion of hundreds of projects. We’ve come very far since our initial launch. 

From a humble beginning producing industry reports to providing a full range of global submarine services, Pioneer Consulting has evolved to keep pace with the expansion of worldwide connectivity and technology advancements.  

As the submarine telecommunications industry continues to evolve, we’ll be at the helm of change, guiding clients on a steady course as we always have.  

It’s an exciting world out there. We’re proud and honored to help connect you to it.

Contact Pioneer Consulting

Telephone: +1 978 357 3605

Fax: +1 501 648 9354

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