Early this month, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) formed an alliance together with fifteen (15) leading global telcos to set up a consortium for the establishment of a new state-of-the-art submarine cable system –the South East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 5 or better known as SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system.
NEC and Alcatel-Lucent was recently awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to build the new submarine cable system which is set to connect three (3) continents – Asia, Africa and Europe.
The collaboration was made official with the signing of the Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) for the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system between the consortium members which consist of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Telecommunications Global Limited (CTG), China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (CU), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, PJSC, (du), Orange (formerly France Telecom – FT), Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS), TOT Public Company Limited, Yemen International Telecommunications Co. (TeleYemen) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM).
SEA-ME-WE 5 will provide seamless connectivity with the capability of originating or terminating traffic from the Points-of-Presence (POPs) in Singapore (Equinix and Global Switch) as well as in France (Marseilles) and Italy (Palermo) whereby the terrestrial link will be also part of the SEA-ME-WE 5 system.
With a total distance spanning approximately 20,000 km, SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system will provide connectivity to 17 countries namely Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, UAE, Oman, Djibouti, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, France as well as Malaysia.
NEC will be deploying the segment spanning from Singapore to Sri Lanka, while Alcatel-Lucent will deploy the Sri Lanka to France segment.
SEA-ME-WE 5 will also provide an alternative route to Europe for TM’s IP traffic which is mostly routed via USA. TM said that past catastrophic failures in the Asia Pacific region due to earthquake or tsunami had given impact to TM’s services.
SEA-ME-WE 5 is designed to provide upgradable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology. When fully loaded, the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system is able to carry 24Tbps of capacity, equivalent of transmitting about 4800 high-definition (HD) movies every second.
This new submarine cable system is expected to start carrying commercial traffic by early 2016.
TM owns 13 in service submarine cable systems, which span more than 60,000 fiber-route miles around the globe, including several submarine cable routes that the company utilises 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 System (BRIGHT) and Batam-Dumai-Melaka Cable System (BDM), Cahaya Malaysia, including the new Bay of Bengal (BBG) cable system.
Additionally TM also invests in other cable systems such as Japan – US Cable Network (JUSCN), China – US Cable Network (CUSCN) and South Atlantic 3 / Western Africa Submarine Cable / South Africa Far East (SAT-3/WASC/SAFE).