Singtel and five regional carriers have signed a US$300 million (SG$420.8 million) contract to build a 6,000km submarine cable system known as the Asia Link Cable System (ALC). Targeted for completion by the third quarter of 2025, the ALC aims to support Southeast Asia’s economic growth by connecting Hong Kong SAR and Singapore with the Philippines, Brunei and Hainan, China.

The consortium, co-led by Singtel and China Telecom Global Limited (CTG), comprises four other regional carriers – China Telecommunications Corporation (CTC), Globe Telecom, Inc. (Globe) and DITO Telecommunity Corporation (DITO) of the Philippines, and Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd (UNN) of Brunei.

Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise and Regional Data Centre Business, Singtel, said, “Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with rising digital demand from consumers and businesses, accelerated by the pandemic. Consumers and businesses increasingly rely on services and solutions that require higher-bandwidth and lower-latency connectivity for their work, studies or entertainment. The ALC will bring greater connectivity capacities to transform industries, unlock more opportunities for innovation, further enhance the digital experiences of Southeast Asian consumers and support the growth ambitions of the region.”

Demand for high-bandwidth, low-latency and high-redundancy internet connectivity is burgeoning in Southeast Asia. The region’s digital economy is forecast to expand to US$363 billion by 2025, fuelled by growth in e-commerce and increasingly digital populations. With eight fibre pairs in the system that 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, the ALC will add more capacity and route diversity to existing networks, bolstering resiliency for international internet traffic through Southeast Asia.

The ALC will adopt the open cable system design, reducing the dependency on any single provider consortium partner and enabling timely capacity upgrades to cater to evolving carrier requirements. When completed, the ALC will augment Singtel’s robust submarine cable infrastructure and unlock opportunities for businesses in Singapore and the region to leverage Singtel’s network, solutions and services, as well as its regional data centre expertise to transform industries, enterprises and consumer experiences. See Annex A for details on the markets the ALC will cover.

Laying a strong foundation for global connectivity

Submarine cables are critical information infrastructure. With no viable alternatives now, almost 100% of all international data traffic that companies consume is transported and routed daily via undersea cables laid on the ocean floor.

Singtel is one of the most technically experienced consortium partners, with its long history and expertise in pioneering some of the earliest submarine cable investments in the region, including the latest 19,200km Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE 6) submarine cable system connecting multiple countries between Singapore and France which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025.

Enterprises can leverage Singtel’s over 25 Tbps cable capacity and more than 60 cable landing points operated by Singtel and its partners – whose diversified cable routing paths collectively offer reliable and secure connectivity with over 70 points of presence – to any destination.

To learn more about Singtel’s expertise in submarine cables, visit: Boosting undersea capacity

Image source: Courtesy of Singtel

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