Subsidiaries of Singapore’s Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, Facebook and Telkom Indonesia have struck a deal to jointly build and own a new 15,000km subsea cable system linking Singapore to North America via Indonesia.
It is claimed by the companies that the new subsea transmission cable, dubbed the Bifrost Cable System, will be the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the west coast of North America via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea.
Expected to be completed in 2024, the Bifrost Cable System will connect Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America.
The companies involved in the project – including subsidiaries Keppel Midgard Holdings and Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), as well as Facebook – claim that, once fully commissioned, the multiple fibre-paired cable system will be the largest capacity high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean.
According to Keppel T&T CEO Thomas Pang, the new cable system represents a significant step towards the strengthening and broadening of the company’s connectivity platform by building a new adjacent and complementary business to its data centre business.
“We are happy to collaborate with our consortium partners, Facebook and Telin, for the Bifrost Cable System project as this will be a transnational critical infrastructure which will enhance Singapore’s role as a digital hub, as well as support and accelerate the region’s growing digital connectivity needs,” Pang said.
Keppel Midgard Holdings’ share of the total project costs as a joint build partner will be approximately US$350million (S$467 million).
“Connectivity is at the heart of our mission to give people the power to build community,” said Kevin Salvadori, Vice President, Network at Facebook. “We are committed to bringing more people online to a faster internet, to support the growth of digital economies, and to do this in collaboration with local partners.”
For Telin CEO Sukardi Silalahi, the Indonesian telco’s collaboration in the Bifrost Cable System project will support the growing demand of internet from the country to the world and vice versa. It is also hoped the cable system help realise Telin’s vision to be the “global digital ecosystem enabler”.
The companies have appointed Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the supply and installation works of the cable system.