Cable project to boost Asia connectivity

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By William Dennis

Telekom Malaysia is contributing $140 million to the cost of a $430m submarine cable to be built by Japan's NTT Communications that will give Malaysia new links with Japan and Hong Kong.

TM will own two pairs in the six-pair optical fibre cable system. NTT will own the remaining four pairs, which it will develop with Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company and Singapore-based Starhub to provide landing points in their respective countries

Known as Cahaya Malaysia, TM's two pairs will link Malaysia to Japan under Phase 1 of the project which will be commissioned in June 2012. A spur to Hong Kong will be added six months later when Phase 2 is completed and commissioned.

Spanning 7,200km, the system will be constructed by NTT's technology partners Fujitsu and NEC Corp. It will use dense wavelength division multiplexing technology and is designed for a transmission speed of 40Gbit/s, with a total capacity of 15Tbit/s. It is expected to reduce latency by 25 per cent.

TM's group chief executive Zamzamzairani Mohd Is said the system would also provide an alternative, diverse routing within the Asia Pacific region to avoid areas prone to seismic activity. In 2006, earthquakes in Taiwan damaged submarine cables, disrupting Internet connections in the Asia Pacific.

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