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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

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