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SingTel plans submarine cable linking S E Asia, M East and W Europe

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CALIFORNIA: Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and 12 international telecommunications carriers have signed an MoU in Bali, Indonesia, to jointly plan and initiate the construction of a new submarine cable linking South East Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe.

The proposed South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) cable project will connect 12 countries including India, Bangladesh, France, Singapore, Sri Lanka. Besides SingTel, the other partners in the consortium include VSNL, Bharti Telesonic, Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board and France Telecom. With a proposed design capacity of 1.28 Terabits per second, the cable project will be built using DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology. The proposed network will provide much needed bandwidth as the existing cables along the same route are increasingly becoming saturated.

An official release informs that currently, data traffic from South East Asia and the Middle East to Europe is routed through smaller capacity cables, mainly SEA-ME-WE 3 and FLAG. SingTel sees this as the opportune time to gather like-minded partners to plan and build a network to ease the expected bandwidth bottleneck between Asia and Europe. By working with reputable partners, the company is relying on strong bargaining power with the cable suppliers, and expects to achieve substantial cost savings.

SingTel aims at providing customers global connectivity, even as demand for bandwidth increases. This potential investment is in line with the company's strategy to build and operate a world-class telecoms infrastructure. The new cable's purpose will be to capture a sizable share of traffic between Asia, the Middle East and Europe when market conditions improve.

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