Asia Netcom to build transpacific cable, prepares for listing

17 Oct 2006

(SinoCast via NewsEdge) Asia Netcom will invest $1 billion to build a transpacific cable together with its partners before 2008.

"We hope to set foot in the transpacific market by building an undersea cable or purchasing the equity of the current undersea cable," said Asia Netcom CEO William Barney.

Unlike the undersea cable market in Asia, North America and Europe, which is already saturated, the transpacific market remains undeveloped.

Barney added that the company would spend another $200 million in the next five years to expand the capacity of its system in Asia.

To some extent, the company's expansion plan is designed to attract more investors, as it prepares to debut in the stock market within 18-24 months.

Asia Netcom was originally a wholly owned subsidiary of China Netcom, before being sold to private investment funds Ashmore and Spinnaker for $402 million in June.

China Netcom still buys submarine cable capacity from Asia Netcom.

Claus Mortensen, IDC research manager, said that before Asia Netcom's investment announcement, several companies already had plans to invest in network connection systems between Europe and Asia.

To meet the strong demand of telecom operators for sustainable growth, broadband investments would also have to be made, he said.

© 2006 SinoCast

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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