SINGAPORE: Sixteen global telecommunications carriers will build a new 500-million-US-dollar submarine cable network to boost high-tech communications between Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) said Monday the system will span 20,000 kilometres (12,400 miles), connect 14 countries and be ready by the third quarter of next year.
Labelled SEA-NE-WE 4, the network will carry telephone, Internet and broadband data streams using ultra fast technology, a SingTel statement said.
The 14 countries to be connected are Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria and France.
AlcaTel Submarine Networks and Fujitsu will implement the project, with SingTel, Singapore's biggest telecommunications provider, investing up to 40 million dollars in the project.
The other 15 carriers involved are Algerie Telecom, Bharti Infortel, Bangladesh Telecom, CAT Telecom, ETISALAT, France Telecom, MCI, PTCL, SLT, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle, Telekom Malaysia, Tunisie Telecom and VSNL.
SingTel said the new network was being built because other similar telecommunications systems were reaching capacity or were no longer in use.
“It will be a timely response to bandwidth demand in these regions as parallel networks … are approaching their maximum capacity,” the statement said.
SingTel spokesman Ivan Tan refused to say how much the other companies were investing in the project, citing commercial confidentiality.