Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) on Tuesday morning signed an agreement with five (5) other regional telco players – Vodafone Group, UAE’s Etisalat, Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata, India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, and Omantel of Oman, forming a consortium for the establishment of the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system.
The submarine cable system which was initiated and spearheaded by TM and the Vodafone Group (Vodafone), will link Malaysia (through Penang) and Singapore to the Middle East (Oman and United Arab Emirates) with connections reaching out to India (Mumbai and Chennai) and Sri Lanka.
The construction of BBG is planned not only to provide connectivity between South East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, but also to Europe and Africa through interconnections with other existing and newly built cable systems landing in India and the Middle East. BBG will also serve as an extraordinary opportunity for business growth as it will help supporting current and future high capacity requirements from the surrounding areas of the region as well as next generation Internet applications.
With a total distance spanning approximately 8,000 km, BBG is set to provide an alternative route to Europe for TM’s IP traffic. This diversity is essential especially in the earthquake prone zones in the Pacific Ocean Region and will also complement the other cable systems which TM are latched on to.
The BBG cable system is designed to provide upgradable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology. This cable system is expected to carry commercial traffic by end of 2014.
TM owns or leases capacity on more than 10 submarine cable systems, which span more than 60,000 fiber-route miles around the globe, including several submarine cable routes that the company uses to carry traffic between Asia-Pacific region and North American region.
TM is also a member of the various consortiums for submarine cable systems in the region, which include Asia America Gateway Cable Network (AAG), South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable System 3 (SEA-ME-WE3 – SMW3), SEA-ME-WE4 (SMW4), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), Batam Rengit Cable Sytem (BRIGHT) and Batam-Dumai-Melaka Cable System (BDM), including TM’s now fully operational Cahaya Malaysia. Additionally TM also invests in other cable systems such as Japan – US Cable Network (JUSCN), China – US Cable Network (CUSCN) and South Atlantic 3 / West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE).
Inking the agreement on behalf of TM was Rozaimy Rahman, Executive Vice President, Global & Wholesale, TM while other members of the consortium were represented by; Rick Perry, Head of International Development, Vodafone Group Technology, Vodafone; Ali Al-Amiri, Executive Vice President, Etisalat; Sohail Qadir, Vice President, Omantel; Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited; and Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata. The signing ceremony between the consortium members was witnessed by Datuk Bazlan Osman, Group Chief Financial Officer, TM.