TM part of 15-member consortium for new submarine cable system

  • 20,000km SEA-ME-WE 5 system to be jointly built by Alcatel-Lucent and NEC
  • TM says it will help company offer its customers a better Internet user experience
TM part of 15-member consortium for new submarine cable system
Members of the SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system consortium after signing an MoU, with Che Azemi Haron, Deputy Chief Secretary II, Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications & Multimedia (9th from left) and TM chairman Dr Halim Shafie, (10th from left) – click to enlarge pic.

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd (TM) has joined forces with 14 other telecommunications companies (telcos) to set up a consortium for a new submarine cable system that will connect three continents.
The submarine cable system, dubbed the South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 5, or SEA-ME-WE 5, will connect Asia, Africa and Europe, TM said in a statement.
The system will be built by both Alcatel-Lucent and NEC.
It was reported that Alcatel-Lucent will lay the western stretch from Europe to Sri Lanka, while NEC will handle the eastern stretch from Sri Lanka to Singapore, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.
According to TM chairman Dr Halim Shafie, the higher bandwidth capacity enabled by the cable system, which is expected to start carrying commercial traffic by early 2016, will enhance Internet access speeds and quality for TM customers, giving them a better user experience.
“The resilient connectivity of SEA-ME-WE-5 will not only benefit TM, but the nation as a whole,” he claimed.
SEA-ME-WE 5 will provide seamless connectivity with the capability of originating or terminating traffic from the Points-of-Presence (POPs) in Singapore (Equinix and Global Switch) as well as in France (Marseilles) and Italy (Palermo).
Malaysia will be one of the landing countries, which would serve TM’s future business needs, especially its organic IP traffic, the company said.
The SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system – which would span  a total distance of approximately 20,000km - will provide extensive connectivity to 17 countries: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emriates, Oman, Djibouti, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, France and Malaysia.
The cable system will also provide an alternative route to Europe for TM’s IP traffic which is currently mostly dependant on the network to the United States, said TM.
SEA-ME-WE 5 is designed to provide upgradable and transmission facilities by adopting state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology. When fully loaded, the cable system would be able to carry 24Tbps of capacity, equivalent to transmitting about 4,800 high-definition (HD) movies every second.
The consortium members include Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, three telcos from China, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co, Orange (formerly France Telecom), Myanmar Post and Telecom, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, Saudi Telecom, SingTel, Sri Lanka Telecom, Telecom Italia Sparkle and others.
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