TIME dotCom Berhad announced its participation in a consortium to build a new submarine cable system that will link Asia and Europe via the Middle East, further enhancing its global footprint.
[AAE-1 Submarine Cable Map]
Together with 16 international service providers, TIME will construct and maintain the Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system, a high-capacity cable system linking Asia and Europe via the Middle East, supporting burgeoning trade and economic linkages between the three continents.
Construction of the cable system is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2014 and TIME’s investment will see the group secure 1.88Tbps of capacity in AAE-1 upon its targeted completion in 2016.
With a length of 25,000 kilometres, the cable system will run from south east Asia to Africa and Europe through Egypt, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand , Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy and France.
The AAE-1 cable system was 1st initiated by China Unicom in 2011. It will deploy 100Gbps technology, with a designed capacity of more than 40 terabits. The extensive list of telcos participating in the project is believed to include: Time dotCom (Malaysia), BT Group (UK), China Unicom (China), Chuan Wei (Cambodia), Djibouti Telecom (Djibouti), Etisalat (UAE), HKT (Hong Kong), Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Omantel (Oman), OTE Globe (Greece), Ooredoo Group (Qatar), PCCW Global (Hong Kong), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL, Pakistan), Telecom Egypt (Egypt), TeleYemen (Yemen), TOT (Thailand) and Viettel Group (Vietnam).
PCCW Global hosted a signing ceremony for the construction and maintenance agreement in Hong Kong on 27 January 2014.
“This is a significant component of our global expansion plans,” said TIME’s Chief Executive Officer Afzal Abdul Rahim. “Our global network will span Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Japan and the United States.”
“Our investment in AAE-1 is strategic for a number of reasons,” added Afzal. “It demonstrates our ongoing commitment towards improving connectivity between Malaysia and the rest of the world, and adds further resilience to our global networks.”
TIME ‘s existing submarine cable investments include a stake in the highly-sought after Unity Cable System that connects Japan and the US, and the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG), that links Malaysia to Korea and Japan, expected to be completed next year.