Sunday, June 11, 2023

TM’s Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system goes live

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) today announced the new Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system which links Malaysia and Singapore to Oman and the UAE, with branches to India and Sri Lanka is now live. The BBG cable system which spans 8,100 km has started carrying its commercial traffic on 30 March 2016.


The Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) Consortium was formed back in 2013 for the establishment of the submarine cable system. It consists of TM, Dialog Axiata of Sri Lanka, Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, Omantel of Sultanate of Oman, Reliance JioInfocomm of India and Vodafone of United Kingdom.

BBG submarine cable system 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.

TM said that 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. This cable system is a unique one as it rides on TM’s “comprehensive protected terrestrial network from Penang, Malaysia to Points-of-Presence (PoPs) in Singapore”. This will “enhance the reliability of this cable system by avoiding the busy and crowded Malacca Straits and other cable cut prone areas.”

TM added that BBG will not only 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.

The BBG cable system is designed to provide upgradable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology.

Commenting on the landmark milestone, Mohamad Rozaimy Abd Rahman, Executive Vice President, Global & Wholesale, TM said, “The establishment of BBG submarine cable  denotes the consortium partners’ utmost commitment in the development of IP communications globally and initiative to extend broadband connectivity to a wider audience. The additional capacity via BBG will help to better prepare and mitigate any potential future congestion we may face. TM, alongside Vodafone Group are very honoured to take the lead in this endeavour and it definitely puts us in good stead moving forward. I believe there will be many other new opportunities that will arise from this newly launched submarine cable.”

Rozaimy added, “The launch of BBG indeed marks yet another commitment from TM in providing faster and resilient Internet connection, hence a better surfing experience for Internet users. In line with being the nation’s leading telecommunications provider, TM continues to play its integral role in fulfilling the Government’s aspiration of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that is “Extending the Regional Network” as this cable system will enable us to provide Malaysians with better regional reach and a highly dependable regional network.”

TM owns or leases capacity in 20 submarine cable systems (including those under construction), which span more than 200,000 fiber-route miles around the globe.

TM is 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), Batam-Dumai-Melaka Cable System (BDM), Dumai-Melaka Cable System (DMCS) and Cahaya Malaysia (CM). TM is also part of the Malaysia – Cambodia – Thailand (MCT) and South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable System 5 (SEA-ME-WE5 / SMW5) and Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) which are under construction. Additionally, TM also invested 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).

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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