Construction work has commenced on a new submarine cable system that will connect multiple countries between Singapore and France.
Being built by the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE 6) consortium, the 19,200 km cable system will offer one of the lowest latencies available between Southeast Asia, (SEA), Middle East and Western Europe.
It will be capable of carrying more than 100 terabits per second (Tbps) and is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2025.
The SEA-ME-WE 6 cable will connect multiple countries between Singapore and France as it traverses through Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Pakistan, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
With Singapore already being a major landing point of submarine cables, with 17 as of 2016 catering to bandwidth capacity of more than 410Tbps, data on the SEA-ME-WE-6 will be able to be transmitted onward to almost any destination in Asia.
SEA-ME-WE 6 will have more fibre pairs and more than double the capacity as compared to previous SEA-ME-WE cables.
The SEA-ME-WE 6 cable will provide an additional layer of diversity and resilience for the high traffic density route between Asia and Europe where demand for bandwidth has gone up exponentially due to digitalisation.
Hyperscalers and other over the top (OTT) content providers are driving up demand for cable capacity at a rapid pace.
Research shows that the amount of international capacity deployed by content networks rose over ninefold to 962Tbps between 2015 and 2019.
The new cable is expected to strengthen the overall network of each consortium partner, through trans-Egypt’s new geo diversified crossings and landing points.
This will allow service providers in the consortium can rapidly scale capacity, protect traffic from faults and lower the total cost of network ownership.
The SEA-ME-WE 6 consortium comprises Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (India), Dhiraagu (Maldives), Djibouti Telecom, Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Orange (France), Singtel (Singapore), Sri Lanka Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telekom Malaysia, Telin (Indonesia), and Trans World Associates (Pakistan).
Yue Meng Fai, chairperson of the SEA-ME-WE 6 management committee and senior director, Consortium Cable Engineering, Singtel, said the planning and designing of the cable started more than two years ago.