SingTel – BT

SingTel joins US$400m cable project

SINGTEL has joined a diverse group of industry players to build a US$400 million subsea cable system that will initially link Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan by the second quarter of 2012.

The 8,300 km system, dubbed the South-east Asia Japan Cable (SJC) system, has a design capacity of 17 Terabits per second (Tbps) – equivalent to 17 million Internet users simultaneously accessing a 1 Mb file in real time – and can be upgraded to 23 Tbps, making it the highest capacity system ever to be built.

The other members of the SJC consortium are Globe Telecom, Google, KDDI, Network i2i, Reliance Globalcom, Telemedia Pacific Inc and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International. According to a statement yesterday, the consortium may be expanded in future to include other carriers.

The SJC system will cater to the strong bandwidth demand seen in high growth Asian countries, said Mark Chong, SingTel’s executive vice-president for networks. The system will also be a boon to Singapore when the country’s national broadband network is rolled out.

‘As the SJC connects Singapore to other cable systems in Asia, it will provide access to other parts of the region and serve as an important cable diversity route. SJC is designed to avoid outage prone areas. It will also be linked to the new Unity cable network, thus enhancing SingTel’s ability to offer superior connectivity between Asia and the US,’ Mr Chong said.

Unity refers to the name of another subsea cable consortium that SingTel is involved in.

The six-member Unity consortium, which comprises Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corp, Pacnet and SingTel, is building a 9,620km system that spans Japan and the US via the Pacific Ocean. This US$300 million system recently landed in Japan and is expected to be ready in the middle of this year.

The Unity cable system will add up to 4.8 Tbps of bandwidth across the Pacific between the US and Asia.

Before Unity and SJC, SingTel’s last involvement in funding subsea cable systems was in 2004, when it joined 15 other companies to build the 20,000km South-east Asia-Middle-East – West Europe 4 system, or SEA-ME – WE 4.

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