Home / Malaysia Broadband / Time dotCom / APG Submarine Cable System now live, links Malaysia to fastest Internet network in Asia

APG Submarine Cable System now live, links Malaysia to fastest Internet network in Asia

The Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable system connecting Malaysia to Korea and Japan is now operational. Adopting a 40 giga-bit-per second (Gbps) optical transmission technology, the total design capacity of APG is at 54.8 Tera-bits per second (Tbps).


APG is a partnership between China Mobile (China), China Telecom (China), China Unicom (China), Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan), Facebook, KT Corp (South Korea), LG Uplus (South Korea), NTT Communications (Japan), StarHub (Singapore), Time dotCom (Global Transit, Malaysia)  Viettel (Vietnam) and VNPT (Vietnam).

Initiated in 2009, the APG orginally included Telecom companies like PLDT (Philippines) and Telekom Malaysia. However when these carriers pulled out, the consortium had trouble bringing the APG to fruition. The APG was supposed to be operational in 2014.

Telekom Malaysia was approached as the APG landing party in Malaysia. However, due to its heavy investment in Cahaya Malaysia (part of the Asia Submarine cable Express (ASE) system), Telecom Malaysia had to finally give up the investment in the pan-Asia APG cable system, according to reports.

The APG only gained momentum when Facebook and Malaysian Telco TIME dotCom (replacing Telekom Malaysia) were accepted into the consortium as investors in 2012.

It was reported in 2012 that the members of the consortium have put forward a total of $450 million, which makes it one of the most expensive submarine cable systems in the world.

With a total length of 10,400 km, the APG network can deliver a capacity of more than 54 Tbps, the highest of any network in Asia. Design protected for 100 Gbps technology upgrades, NTT said the submarine cable routing avoids areas prone to earthquakes and typhoons.

In 2012, Global Transit (TIME dotCom) said “Combining TIME’s Malaysia-wide fibre network, Global Transit’s regional network nodes, ownership in the trans-pacific Unity cable, and now the APG system, the TIME Group has a complete land and sea fibre network footprint to capture the high-growth bandwidth demand in Asia.

“A advantage is that we have a global network system landing directly into Malaysia. This lowers our dependencies on Singapore as the main gateway for Internet traffic. We can now channel high volumes of this traffic on our network with the lowest latency, directly to the US.

“Given that the APG will be the most advanced Intra-Asia cable system between with landing points in strategic locations, we can be the most competitive bandwidth provider in the region. The Group will now be able to provide the complete Internet connectivity route on its own assets from Asia all the way to the United States.”

The company added, “We believe we have a good opportunity to grow our business as APG will provide the Group with an initial capacity of approximately 3,400 Gbps between Malaysia to Japan and Korea. The region is currently dependent on cable systems with limited capacity and upgrade options.”

TIME has also invested in two other submarine cable system, Unity (linking U.S and Japan) and FASTER (linking Asia and North America). FASTER, TIME’s second trans-Pacific submarine cable investment in partnership with Google, became fully operational on 30 June 2016.

[Source]– NTT Communications

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy
  • Wanda900

    A smaller ISP with limited coverage has more international bandwidth access than the monopoly company that received grants from government for their public projects.

    Should TM become another example like MAS before we can start seeing any changes? Time’s Global Transit actually has their gateway partly based in SG where the island is already a world hub for submarine links and IXs.

    They are just too arrogant to take advantage of the situation and demands that they build their own datacentres/ direct submarine links by themselves when most of our regional neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia prefers to link up Singapore as their regional gateway hub.

    Malaysia is actually blessed to be situated just right next to an island that hosts a large share of the world’s internet servers. To not become ASEAN’s 2nd most connected and cheapest internet availability is just plain lame excuse for incompetency. It’s so disgraceful that we’re not even in the Top 3 anymore today when it comes to internet access affordability and speeds. What is going on? We used to me holding the 2nd position firmly for many years and the 2nd most developed nation in the ASEAN region only to be degraded to what we are today?

    • Time has around 3 submarine cable while TM has over 20.

      We are building our own submarine cable system to avoid depending on Singapore. Bandwidth in Singapore isn’t that cheap.

      • Wanda900

        Kugan, number of submarine cables does not equate capacity and quality of connections. Just as how ISPs and telco companies have peering agreements. A company which has peers with only a few major ISPs which hosts most of the world’s webservers is still better than one with many irrelevant smaller peers.

        Indonesia for example has recently embark on a massive project to link all their islands with Singapore called The Indonesia Global Gateway (IGG).Why did you think they chose to link up Singapore but not rely just solely on their own direct submarine links to the US, Japan and the rest of the world?

        Malaysia cannot survive as an isolated island, we need to have a consortium so that there would be buyers. We also have the Cahaya Malaysia cable that links us with Japan, but is TM any better when compared to Time in Japanese peering agreements?