Consortium to build 6,000km submarine Cable System in SEA

A consortium of Asian regional carriers has agreed to build the US$300 million Asia Link Cable System (ALC) submarine cable system to connect the region.

Spanning 6,000km undersea, the system aims to support Southeast Asia’s (SEA) economic growth by connecting Hong Kong and Singapore with Brunei, Hainan in China and the Philippines.

The consortium behind it are co-led by Singtel and China Telecom Global, and comprises four other regional carriers – China Telecommunications Corporation, Globe Telecom and DITO Telecommunity Corporation of the Philippines, and Unified National Networks of Brunei.

Demand for high-bandwidth, low-latency, and high-redundancy internet connectivity is burgeoning in SEA with the region’s digital economy forecasted to expand to US$363 billion by 2025, fuelled by growth in e-commerce and increasingly digital populations.

With eight fibre pairs, the system can transmit up to 18 terabits per second (Tbps) per fibre pair, or the equivalent of downloading more than 2,500 hours of ultra high-definition video per second. ALC will add more capacity and route diversity to existing networks, bolstering resiliency for international internet traffic through SEA.

Trageted to be completed bythe third quarter of 2025, ALC will adopt the open cable system design which will reduce the dependency on any single provider consortium partner, and enable timely capacity upgrades to cater to evolving carrier requirements.

“Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with rising digital demand from consumers and businesses, accelerated by the pandemic. The ALC will bring greater connectivity capacities to transform industries, unlock more opportunities for innovation, further enhancing the digital experiences of Southeast Asian consumers and supporting the growth ambitions of the region,” said Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer of Group Enterprise and Regional Data Centre Business at Singtel.

Image: Singtel