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Optus, SingTel, Telecom NZ strike cable deal

Three of the region's biggest telcos will form a powerful alliance to build a new telecommunications cable system between Singapore and Sydney.

Three of the region's biggest telcos will form a powerful alliance to build a new telecommunications cable system between Singapore and Sydney.

AUSTRALIA (ZDNet Australia)--Cable and Wireless Optus, SingTel and Telecom New Zealand today unveiled a plan to build a submarine cable to meet regional demand for broadband. However, no time frame was given.

The cable would link Singapore, Jakarta and Perth, with connections then being made throughout Australia and Asia Pacific via the carriers' existing cable networks.

"The Asian region is a large and rapidly expanding market for corporate and IP services. All three companies have identified a growing need for robust infrastructure between Australia and Asia," C&W Optus Managing Director, Data & Business Services, Chris Hancock said in a joint statement issued today.

The 9,800 kilometre Asia to Australia link would complement the recently commissioned Southern Cross Cable Network which links Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

When asked if the cable was designed to tackle Telstra head-on in the competitive broadband arena, a spokesman for C&W Optus said the telco was "not a factor."

Telecom New Zealand says its investments in cable have reaped rewards, both operationally and financially.

"Similarly, we look upon this proposal as a solid investment opportunity for the future of all three companies," said Simon Moutter, Group General Manager Network, Telecom New Zealand.

SingTel, which is in the process of buying C&W Optus, said the cable would be suitable for "mission-critical" data and high bandwith applications.

"We are very excited about this joint venture as Australia has always represented an important part of our regional expansion plans," said SingTel's Executive Vice President (Global Business), Lim Shyong.