Globe Telecom Inc. and other telecommunication companies are investing about $300 million to build a submarine cable system in Southeast Asia that aims to boost data capacity and upgrade local capacities.
The planned Asia Link Cable will be about 6,000 kilometers in length, connecting Hong Kong and Singapore as its trunk, with branches into the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam and Hainan, China.
HMN Technologies Co. Limited, the system supplier, is expected to complete construction of the ALC by the third quarter of 2025.
ALC is seen to provide additional hyper-capacity within Asia and boost resiliency for international traffic. It will have a minimum eight fiber pairs in the system, with 18 Tbps/fiber pair minimum trunk design capacity, adding more capacity and diversity to existing networks in the region.
Besides Globe, the other members of the consortium are China Telecom Global Limited of China, DITO Telecommunity Corp., Singapore Telecommunications Limited and Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd of Brunei Darussalam.
“ALC is a great accomplishment of Asian carriers which overcame difficulties of Covid impacts, and it is also the only subsea project with zero face-to-face meetings from the MoU to the C&MA [construction and maintenance agreement] signing in the industry,” Chang Weiguo, ALC co-chair, said.
“ALC consortium adopts an open and inclusive principle and will attract more investors in the near future to make it more cost effective, which will reinforce the resilience of interconnectivity in Asia and better serve digital economy in the region,” he said.
ALC co-chair Alan Tan (Singtel) said: “We started planning and designing the ALC cable more than two years ago at the onset of the pandemic, having anticipated the inevitable growth in high-definition content consumption, trade and innovation in this region. Despite the challenges presented by safe management restrictions, we managed to come up with a system that will help meet the evolving needs of consumers and enterprises and boost local economies today and in the near future.”
An open cable system architecture is adopted for ALC, enabling parties to select and maintain independent line terminal equipment that would suit their customer requirement.
With strategic locations and bullish digital growth prospects in mind, there has been increased interest to interconnect the trans-Asian region, enriching the infrastructure for prospective customers. This subsea cable system will help enhance the existing facilities in catering future requirements in the region.