HONG KONG - Pacific Century CyberWorks has been granted a license to transmit high-speed information along the world's first "super-cable" linking Asia and Europe, the company announced today.
The hook-up to the world's longest undersea cable, called SMW3, means information can be piped directly from Asia to Europe, bypassing the US, where until now, all Asia-Europe Internet traffic had to pass through.
With a total capacity of 40 gigabits per second, SMW3 is also the largest Asia-Europe cable.
For customers, super-cable direct access means faster service, and quicker download times of up to 30 percent can be expected, said Keith Harrison, managing director of PCCW's Global Communications sector.
"This is the first major cable directly linking Asia and Europe, where we expect future information traffic to increase," said Harrison, adding that PCCW's cable access will reduce costs while increasing efficiency.
PCCW and proposed IP Backbone partner Telstra of Australia have invested US$120 million in the venture.
"With our new cable access agreement, PCCW can provide a committed Internet Backbone service. We can now better serve China, Malaysia, the Philippines, the UAE, Indonesia, Vietnam, and of course, Hong Kong, with high-speed Internet access," he said.
Connectivity within the UK will occur in cooperation with Telstra, which recently announced connectivity and mobility agreements with PCCW. Telstra operates a location site in London, from which information will be relayed to other European destinations.
Costing US$1.5 billion overall, SMW3 cable is a 40,000 kilometer, two-fibre pair optical fibre system, which connects 39 landing points from Asia to Western Europe.
The license, granted by the secretary of State for Trade and Industry to Cable & Wireless HKT Pacific (UK) Ltd., was applied for by the former Cable & Wireless HKT, and allows PCCW to manage end-to-end capability to the UK.
PCCW will be initially allotted 45 megabits per second of capacity, with the ability to upgrade rapidly as customer demand dictates.