Partners Sign MoU for APX-West Submarine Fiber Optic Cable

The partners of APX-West Submarine fiber optic cable system has reached to an agreement on the implementation and operation and have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The partners Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra jointly announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a new international submarine cable, APX-West. APX-West will connect Perth in Australia and Singapore.

The partners plan to start construction of the new cable system by the end of July 2016. Initially, a two year period is estimated for completion of the project. Compared to other long-distance submarine cable project, APX-West has shorter distance since the distance from Perth to Singapore spans around 4,500 kilometers. Singapore being a hub for South East Asian and East Asian countries have the potential to connect to Pacific nations as well as to the South Asian, African and European nations through many submarine fiber cables that were already laid from Singapore to these regions.

Once completed, the new submarine cable will span more than 4,500 kilometers carrying traffic between Australia and Singapore. The new cable will incorporate two fibre pairs providing two-way data transmission and each pair will have a minimum design capacity of 10 Terabits per second. The cable will terminate in facilities operated by the consortium members in Singapore and Australia significantly reducing costs and permitting times.

Partners consider the signing of MoU as the first important step towards the successful implementation of the project. The MoU is a major milestone for the project, with the foundation parties including Singtel, The SubPartners and Telstra had committed to purchase the entire available capacity on the system. The APX-West system is a consortium cable with all the major players having access to ownership economics at a fraction of the cost of private cable ownership. This is a unique commercial model for the Perth-Singapore route that will satisfy the ongoing bandwidth requirements of both network operators and internet content hosts.

The current data bridge between Singapore and Perth is carried by the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable. Singapore is also connected to Europe via the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system. The latest in the series SEA-ME-WE-5 submarine cable system had landed on the western port of Singapore last month. The construction is still going on. The APX-West cable will be a new data superhighway to expand data connectivity and capacity between Singapore and Australia, providing network redundancy and the lowest latency from Australia to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Singtel owns one of the most extensive submarine cable infrastructures in the Asia Pacific region. Australia’s Optus is also a part of Singtel group now. The combined force can meet customers’ growing data requirements for bandwidth-intensive applications such as unified communications, enterprise data exchange, internet TV and online gaming. The MOU is a significant step forward in building what would be a valuable addition to Telstra’s subsea network, which is one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific. As consumers and businesses continue to embrace online products and services, such as video streaming and cloud, the demand for international connectivity continues to rise, creating a strong case for building this new cable.

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Author: Praveen Gupta

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