Channel Asia understands that the second section of the Indigo subsea cable system is expected to begin this month linking Singapore and Indonesia with an expected completion date of December 2018.
The first section of the approximately 2,400-kilometres cable connecting Christmas Island to Perth has now been completed, according to a consortium of companies that include Singtel, AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, SubPartners and Telstra.
This comes after the Vocus-owned Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) went live September 14, further enhancing the connection between Southeast Asia and Australia.
“The INDIGO submarine cable will usher in a new era of high-speed communications between the growing economies of Southeast Asia and Australia,” said Ooi Seng Keat, vice president of carrier services at Singtel.
"This new data superhighway will complement our existing global links to Asia, US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East and allow Singtel and Optus to meet the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications as well as boost network diversity and resilience.
"We look forward to Optus landing the INDIGO Central cable in Sydney in a few months’ time which will further reinforce our position as the leading provider of international connectivity and data services in the region."
The 9,200-kilometre Indigo cable system is expected to be operational by mid-2019 providing lower latency and enhanced reliability between Southeast Asia and Australia.
Furthermore, due to the implementation of new spectrum sharing technology as part of the cable system each consortium member will have the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements for future upgrades and capacity increases on demand.
“The development of the Indigo West cable has leveraged Telstra’s engineering expertise and the scale of our Australian network,” said Paul Abfalter, head of North Asia and global wholesale at Telstra. "The cable will connect to Telstra’s extensive terrestrial network to provide onward connectivity around Australia.
"Once complete, the cable system will strengthen links between Australia and fast-growing South East Asian markets by providing the fastest speeds and dramatically improved reliability.
"Our vast subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy and we will continue to invest in additional capacity to meet the increasing demand for data and maintain our network leadership in the Asia-Pacific region."
It is expected that the cable’s two-fibre pairs will be able to support up to 36 terabits per second by leveraging today’s coherent optical technology - this would be the equivalent of simultaneously streaming millions of movies per second.
"This is an exciting time for AARNet,” said Chris Hancock, CEO, AARNet. “INDIGO is 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. We are looking forward to the second INDIGO landing in Sydney."
Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) signed an agreement in April 2017 with the consortium to 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, the Ile de Brehat, will continue laying the INDIGO Central cable another 4,600 kilometres to link Perth to Sydney.
“We are starting to see the benefits of our investment in infrastructure and software,” said Drew Kelton, CEO, Superloop. “The three key principles behind Superloop of fibre, wireless and Asia have never looked more compelling, relevant and timely.”