The first section of the Indigo subsea cable system linking Australia and South East Asia has been laid from Christmas Island to Floreat Beach in Perth, spanning 2400km.
The second part of the cable linking Singapore and Indonesia will start this month, and is due for completion at the end of December.
AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, Google and Telstra, joined forces in April last year, and inked an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to help build the Indigo cable system connecting Singapore, Perth and Sydney, with two additional fibre pairs connecting Singapore and Jakarta via a branching unit.
The ASN cable ship, Ile de Brehat, will continue laying the Indigo Central cable for another 4600km to link Perth to Sydney - the 9200km cable system is expected to be operational by mid-2019.
Using optical technology, the cable’s two-fibre pairs can support up to 36Tbps. It will also use new spectrum sharing technology, so that each consortium member can independently take advantage of the technology advancements for future upgrades and capacity increases.
“This new data superhighway will complement our existing global links to Asia, US, Europe, Australia and Middle East, allowing Singtel and Optus to meet the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications as well as boost network diversity and resilience,” said Ooi Seng Keat, vice president of carrier services group enterprise at Singtel.
“We look forward to Optus landing the Indigo Central cable in Sydney in a few months time.”
Telstra head of north Asia and global wholesale, Paul Abfalter, added the subsea network was a key part of its international growth strategy and it will continue to invest in additional capacity to meet increasing demand for data.
“Once complete, the cable system will strengthen links between Australia and South East Asian markets by providing the fastest speeds and dramatically improved reliability,” Abfalter said.
AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock, said Indigo was the first in a number of significant investments for research and education in Australia.
“Indigo will provide the underpinning critical infrastructure to meet the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our important Asian partners,” Hancock said.