news Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra have inked a deal to build a new international submarine cable that will carry data between Perth and Singapore.
Construction of the new cable – which is called APX-West – is expected to commence by the end of July and is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Once built, APX-West will span over 4,500 kilometres and act as a data “superhighway” between Australia and Singapore, its builders said in a statement.
The cable will provide two-way data transmission via two fibre pairs – each with a minimum design capacity of 10 Terabits per second – and will terminate in facilities operated by the consortium members in both countries, which should reduce costs and permitting times.
“The current data bridge between Singapore and Perth is carried by the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable,” said Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise at Singtel. “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.”
“Today Singtel has one of the most extensive submarine cable infrastructures in the Asia Pacific region,” he said. “With these capabilities, the Singtel Group, including Optus, can meet customers’ growing data requirements for bandwidth-intensive applications such as unified communications, enterprise data exchange, internet TV and online gaming.”
Bevan Slattery, SubPartners founder and CEO, described the agreement as a “major milestone” for the project, adding that Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra had committed to purchase the entire available data capacity of 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,” Slattery said. “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.”
Framing the planned cable as a “valuable addition” to Telstra’s subsea network, Darrin Webb, Telstra’s Executive Director International Operations and Services, said: “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.”