A consortium of 15 Asian, Middle Eastern and European telecom companies have teamed up to build a new subsea cable system, the SEA-ME-WE 5.
The 20,000km cable system will connect 17 countries in the three regions along a route running from Singapore to France.
The consortium aims to have the cable system operational by 2016. It will use the latest 100G technology to provide a total design capacity of 24,000 Gbps.
Bill Chang, CEO of consortium member SingTel's enterprise group, said the new cable system will address the urgent need for new capacity along the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe route.
“Submarine cables [are] key to global communications and connectivity, overcoming distance and physical borders,” he said. “Today, 95% of the world’s voice, video and data traffic is transmitted via subsea data highways.”
Besides SingTel, the Asian operators and subsea cable operators in the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium include China Unicom and the international arms of China Telecom and China Mobile.
Sri Lanka Telecom, Thailand's TOT, TeleYemen, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL), Telekom Malaysia, the international unit of Indonesia's PT Telkom and Myanmar state-owned operator Myanmar Post and Telecom are also members.
Rounding out the list are the UAE's du, France Telecom's Orange, Saudi Telecom Company and Telekom Italia Sparkle.
The planned route for the SEA-ME-WE 5