Seventeen major telecom operators have signed the construction agreement for the continent-spanning Asia Africa Europe Cable System (AAE-1).
The AAE-1 cable system as planned will be one of the largest subsea cable systems ever deployed, with a length of around 25,000km.
It will run between Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia on to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The design calls for branching units to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.
Asian participants in the cable project include China Unicom, Hong Kong's PCCW Global, Vietnam's Viettel, Thailand's TOT, Pakistan's PTCL and Cambodia's Chuan Wei.
AAE-1 will use 100G cable technology and have an initial design capacity of over 40 Tbps. The consortium aims to have the cable operational by 2016.
The cable project reportedly has an estimated budget of $600 million.
January was a busy month for the subsea cable sector, with both the Australia-Japan Cable and the SXC announcing capacity upgrades, Telstra announcing upgrades for three of its own subsea cables and Huawei Marine announcing the completion of an island-hopping cable for Portugal's Viatel.