Thursday, 06 April 2017 12:14

Google, Telstra join consortium to build Asia Pacific subsea cable system Featured


A consortium of major tech players, including Google and Telstra, has joined forces to build a new international subsea cable systems under an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).

As well as Google and Telstra, the consortium includes AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel and SubPartners, and will build the new Indigo cable system to connect Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

Announcement of the new subsea cable systems coincides with today’s announcement by the Bevan Slattery-founded Superloop that it has acquired one of the consortium partners — Subpartners — in a strategic move expected to provide more capacity to meet growing customer demand across the Asia Pacific region.

Once completed, the Indigo system — previously known as APX West & Central — will strengthen links between Australia and the fast-growing South East Asian markets, providing lower latency and enhanced reliability.

The system will use a two-fibre pair "open cable" design with spectrum sharing technology.

Under the deal, consortium members will have spectrum ownership providing the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements and future upgrades as required.

“With Internet data consumption growing by 70% in Asia last year alone, these sorts of investments in international networks are critical for meeting the needs of connected consumers and businesses,” said Telstra’s group managing director of global services and international, David Burns.

“This will be an important piece of technology infrastructure connecting South East Asia and Australia, and follows a number of recent network enhancements Telstra has undertaken to meet growing demand for data and better connectivity from our customers across the Asia Pacific region.”

According to Chris Hancock, AARNet’s chief executive, the strategic alliance "is a great leap forward for Australian research and education”.

“It will provide critical infrastructure for meeting the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our Asian partners.”

And Optus parent company Singtel sees the construction of Indigo as timely to meet what it says is the rising demand for high-speed broadband between Asia and Australia.

“This cable system complements our global connectivity that links Asia, the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Indigo will be a new data superhighway that facilitates Singtel and our subsidiary Optus to catalyse the development of digital economies across the regions,” said Ooi Seng Keat, vice-president, carrier services, group enterprise at Singtel.

"The delivery of secure, reliable and high-speed connectivity between Singapore and Sydney has been the core focus of SubPartners since its inception," said Slattery.

"We are delighted to be a part of the Indigo cable system to finally realise this significant infrastructure project, and provide Australia with a new diverse international route into South East Asia."

The new cable is expected to be completed by 2019.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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