Singapore-France undersea cable system begins construction

Expected to be ready for service in 2016, the SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea cable system will span 20,000km between Singapore and France and provide connectivity to several markets including Malaysia, Myanmar, India, and Pakistan.

Construction has commenced for a new undersea cable system stretching from Singapore to France, promising faster connectivity for several markets along the way. 

Expected to be ready for service in 2016, the new South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) will span 20,000 kilometres between Singapore and France, plying a route that serves the "heavily loaded" Asia to Europe route, said SingTel in a statement. The undersea cable system will be operated by the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium comprising several telcos across the regions, including SingTel, Saudi Telecom Company, Telekom Malaysia Berhad, China Telecom Global, and Orange.

Built with the latest 100Gbps technology and a design capacity of at least 24Tbps, the new cable system will be deployed by Alcatel-Lucent, which will be responsible for the segment between Sri Lanka and France, and NEC, which will deploy the segment between Singapore and Sri Lanka.

In its statement released Wednesday, Alcatel-Lucent said the undersea cable network will provide ultra-broadband capacity and faster access to both consumers and businesses in countries along the route, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, and Yemen.  

It will also deliver the lowest latency, SingTel added. 

Linette Lee, chairperson of SEA-ME-WE 5's management committee, said: "With the rollout of the SEA-ME-WE 5 system, we will deliver a dynamic and agile way to serve end-users and offer them the quality of service they need. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC's 100G undersea technology will help us in setting a new milestone in the further development of this route."