Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) announced that it was awarded the contract to develop and construct a new submarine cable system, called Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) will link Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak. The project will be established through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between MCMC and TM utilising the Universal Services Provision Fund (USP), which is under the purview of MCMC.
The new submarine cable system will serve to enhance the existing domestic submarine cable connectivity between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, catering for future bandwidth growth requirements. It will span approximately 3,500km with an initial capacity of 4 Terabit per second (Tbps).
TM said that the SKR1M cable system is designed to provide upgradeable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology. This new submarine cable system is expected to start carrying commercial traffic by mid 2017.
In August 2014, MCMC invited eligible licensees in Malaysia to submit proposal for the Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) project. MCMC proposed 5 landing points: Mersing-Kuching(800km), Kuching-Bintulu(500km), Bintulu-Miri(190km), Miri-Kota Kinabalu(440km), Kota Kinabalu-Cherating(1,570km). The winning bidder will be responsible for the Operation and Maintenance of the SKR1M cable system for 20 years.
The list companies that bid for the SKR1M project were not revealed however an anonymous source told MalaysianWireless that 8-9 companies sent their proposal despite some 20 licensees were eligible and qualified to bid. The value of the project was not disclosed by TM. TheStar reported that it is valued at RM720mil.
TM claims it is well experienced in the domestic, regional and global submarine cable development and investments owns more than 10 submarine cable systems, which span more than 100,000 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.
In addition to the newly signed South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable System 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), 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).
To date, TM’s total design capacity of its international submarine cables stands at 30 Tbps.