Indigo subsea cable completes Sydney landing

The subsea cable being built by SubPartners, Google, Singtel, Telstra, AARNet, and Indosat Ooredoo has landed in Sydney ahead of connecting the city with Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

The Indigo subsea telecommunications cable has completed its landing at Coogee Beach in Sydney, the consortium building the system has announced, with the Central cable to be installed by early December.

According to SubParters, the submarine cable's construction remains on track, and will see the 36Tbps system go live in mid-2019.

"The Indigo cable system will utilise new spectrum sharing technology so each consortium member will have the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements for future upgrades and capacity increases on demand," the consortium said.

Being built by Telstra, SubPartners, Google, Singtel, AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, and Alcatel Submarine Networks, the Indigo cable will span around 9,000km, connecting Sydney, Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta. It has two fibre pairs.

"The landing of Indigo Central cable by Optus is a landmark development which will boost Australia's communications ecosystem with much-needed high-speed capacity and network diversity," Singtel's vice president of Carrier Services for Group Enterprise Ooi Seng Keat said.

"Together with Indigo West, the next-generation Indigo Central data superhighway will enhance Singtel and Optus' subsea networks, creating a cable ring connecting Australia to Singapore, through Southeast Asia, across the Pacific, and back to Australia."

Telstra last month announced the completion of the landing of Indigo West at Floreat Beach, Perth, with the 2,400km cable segment between Christmas Island and Perth having been laid.

Superloop had in August announced completing the marine survey, cable system manufacturing and factory testing for both Indigo West and Indigo Central, the drilling phase in Sydney for the landing of two subsea cables, installation of the beach manhole in Sydney for Indigo Central, and an agreement to provide its second landing facility to Southern Cross.

The Indigo Central final splice is expected to be complete in early December, and the Indigo West final splice in late December.

"Construction of one of our biggest infrastructure projects, the Indigo international subsea cable system, is progressing ahead of plan, and subject to weather conditions could be completed ahead of schedule and before the end of this financial year," Superloop CEO Drew Kelton, who commenced the chief executive role at the start of July, said.

Superloop had acquired SubPartners for $2.5 million back in April 2017 just after the initial Indigo subsea cable announcement, saying it would provide the company with APAC submarine cable capacity and assets across the region.

For FY18, Superloop announced its revenue more than doubling, up 109 percent to AU$125.2 million for the year ended June 30.

Net profit for the company was AU$7.1 million, up from last year's net loss of AU$1.2 million, on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$29 million, up from AU$4.6 million following its acquisitions of SubPartners, NuSkope, GX2 Technology, and BigAir.

According to Superloop, NuSkope contributed AU$6.7 million in revenue during the year, while GX2 contributed AU$7.1 million, Superloop AU$40.2 million -- including AU$13.8 million from Indigo developments, AU$21.8 million from fixed-wireless services, and AU$25.6 million from fixed-line fibre services -- and BigAir AU$71.2 million. The Superloop+ managed services and cybersecurity business segment contributed revenue of AU$36.6 million.

During the 2018 financial year, Superloop added 671km of fibre to its terrestrial networks, growing from 217km to 242km in Australia; from 176km to 190km in Singapore; and from 221km to 239km in Hong Kong. It also invested AU$21.8 million in long-term network and capacity agreements -- AU$1.7 million in Singapore, AU$8.6 million in Hong Kong, and AU$11.5 million in international.

The company invested AU$46.6 million in property, plant, and equipment, including AU$18.9 million for Indigo.

Subsea cables across the globe

  • Vocus' Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC)
  • Vocus' North West Cable System (NWCS) between Darwin and Port Hedland, and the new Tiwi Islands spur being added
  • The Australian government's Coral Sea subsea cable, being constructed by Vocus to connect Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands and funded through the foreign aid budget
  • Google's Dunant transatlantic subsea cable between Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast
  • The Indian government's Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar islands subsea cable, being built by NEC
  • Southern Cross Cables' NEXT subsea cable system between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, being built by SubPartners
  • The Trident subsea cable system connecting Perth with Singapore via Indonesia
  • The Jupiter subsea cable connecting the US, Japan, and the Philippines and being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW
  • The Hawaiki subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the US
  • Superloop's Hong Kong cable
  • Telstra's Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable between Hong Kong and the US
  • Telstra's Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) between Hong Kong and the US
  • Google's Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system
  • The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) subsea cable connecting China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, owned by a consortium including China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, NTT Communications, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, StarHub, Chunghwa Telecom, CAT, Global Transit Communications, Viettel, and VNPT, and being constructed by NEC
  • The Southeast Asia Japan 2 cable (SJC2), which will have 11 landing stations in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, being built by NEC and funded by a consortium including China Mobile International, Chunghwa Telecom, Chuan Wei, Facebook, KDDI, Singtel, SK Broadband, and VNPT
  • The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE), connecting Singapore and Hong Kong with the US, being funded by consortium including Facebook, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and China Mobile International, and being built by NEC
  • The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) connecting Angola and Brazil, going live in October 2018 after being built by NEC
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