Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) signed an agreement yesterday with two (2) other regional Telco players– Symphony Communication of Thailand and Telcotech of Cambodia, forming a consortium for the establishment of a state-of-the-art; the Malaysia – Cambodia – Thailand (MCT) submarine cable system.
The latest intra-regional submarine cable system will be constructed by Huawei Marine Networks. It spans approximately 1,300 km will link Malaysia to Cambodia and Thailand with further access to Indochina countries like Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam via terrestrial links.
The cable system will adopt 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) upgradable technology with a design capacity of at least 30 Tbps. The system is expected to be ready for commercial traffic by end of 2016.
Indochina operators that ride on MCT will be able to access Malaysia as well as other Asean countries and other International destinations leveraging on TM’s extensive regional and global network coverage at “competitive rates”, Telekom Malaysia said in a statement.
It did not disclose the value of the deal.
Speaking at signing ceremony, which was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Datuk Bazlan Osman, Executive Director / Group CFO, Telekom Malaysia said, “The MCT cable system will definitely play an important role to the business growth of Asean region especially in telecommunication sector. It will become the catalyst for other growing industries in Indochina that requires telecommunication infrastructure as communication is an essential element for current businesses in this era. Furthermore, TM supports and promotes any initiatives towards the success of Asean regional economic integration specifically the Asean Economic Community (AEC) through enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity.”
Oknha Paul Blanche-Horgan, CEO, Telcotech of Cambodia commented, “The MCT cable will play a crucial role in helping us continue that work in the decades to come – by enabling faster, more reliable and more affordable internet access for all. The connection to the region, and the Asia America Gateway (AAG) cable and beyond, will allow Telcotech to offer better solutions to our clients and help us meet Cambodia’s communications needs as the country continues to develop.”
Teerarat Pantarasutra, President, Symphony Communication of Thailand said, “MCT Cable System will give great benefits to ASEAN countries because not only Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand can have excellent connectivity but also other surrounding countries will also have this enhancement for telecommunication as well. I am confident that MCT Cable System will uphold our region’s telecommunication business with high level of efficiency and we will enter to a new chapter of telecommunication in ASEAN.”
To date, TM said it owns 14 in service submarine cable systems, which span more than 100,000 fiber-route miles around the globe, including several submarine cable routes that the company utilises to carry traffic between Asia-Pacific, North America, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and European region.
TM is a member of the various consortiums for submarine cable systems in the region, which include Asia America Gateway Cable Network (AAG), Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG), South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable System 3 (SEA-ME-WE3 – SMW3), SEA-ME-WE4 (SMW4), SEA-ME-WE5 (SMW5), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), Batam-Rengit Cable System (BRIGHT), Batam-Dumai-Melaka Cable System (BDM), Dumai-Melaka Cable System (DMCS) and Cahaya Malaysia cable system. TM also invested 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) as well as Malaysia Domestic Submarine Cable System (MDSCS).