New submarine cable to link Asia, Middle East and Europe
Singapore Telecommunications Company (SingTel) and 12 other international telecom carriers today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Bali, Indonesia, to jointly plan and initiate the construction of a new submarine cable linking South East Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe.
The proposed South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable project will connect 12 countries—Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Besides SingTel, the other partners in the consortium are Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board, Bharti Telesonic, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, France Telecom, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, PT Indosat, Saudi Telecom, Srilanka Telecom Limited (SLT), Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia S.p.A, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited.
With a proposed design capacity of 1.28 Terabits per second, the cable project will be built using DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology. The proposed network will provide much needed bandwidth as the existing cables along the same route are increasingly becoming saturated. Currently, data traffic from South East Asia and the Middle East to Europe is routed via smaller capacity cables, mainly SEA-ME-WE 3 and FLAG.
“Though the current market situation might not seem conducive to embark on this project, this is the opportune time for us to gather like-minded partners to plan and build a network to ease the expected bandwidth bottleneck between Asia and Europe. By working with reputable partners, we will have strong bargaining power with the cable suppliers, and expect to achieve substantial cost savings.” SingTel’s Executive Vice President Lim Shyong said.
Mr Lim added “This potential investment is in line with our strategy to build and operate a world-class telecoms infrastructure. Looking ahead, we believe the new cable will be in a prime position to capture a sizable share of traffic between Asia, the Middle East and Europe when market conditions improve.”
SingTel communications company offers a portfolio of services that include voice and data services over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms, serving both the corporate and residential markets. SingTel has extensive interests in submarine cable and satellite systems, including its co-owned ST-1 satellite and the pan-Asian C2C cable network.
The SingTel Group has expanded into overseas markets, with investments in many countries and territories. In Australia, its wholly owned subsidiary, SingTel Optus, offers integrated communications, serving more than five million customers. The Group’s major investments include Advanced Info Service of Thailand, the Bharti Telecom Group of India, Globe Telecom of the Philippines and Telkomsel of Indonesia. The Group’s turnover for the year ended March 31, 2002 was $4.02 billion. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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