Thursday, 30 May 2019 11:35

INDIGO subsea cable linking Australia with South East Asia commissioned

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The INDIGO subsea cable system linking Australia with the Southeast Asian region has been commissioned and is ready for use by consortium members, following completion of the Singapore to Perth to Sydney cables.

AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra made the announcement on Thursday, noting that the cable system features new spectrum-sharing technology, and each consortium member can independently leverage the new system to upgrade their networks and enable capacity increases on demand.

The consortium members say the INDIGO cable system, spanning 9,200km, will strengthen connectivity between Australia and the fast-growing Southeast Asian markets, providing lower latency and more reliable communication services.

Using current coherent optical technology, the cable can support up to 36Tbps, the equivalent of simultaneously streaming millions of movies a second.

According to the consortium, the completion of the cable system is timely as Asia’s economy is increasingly being driven by digital connectivity.

“In fact, bandwidth demand between Asia and Australia will reach 75Tbps by 2025 according to TeleGeography and the INDIGO subsea cable system will help meet the exponentially growing demand for direct connectivity between Singapore and Australia,” the companies said.

This latest milestone follows the announcement in April 2017 that the consortium had made an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks to build the INDIGO cable system connecting Singapore, Perth and Sydney, with two additional fibre pairs connecting Singapore and Jakarta via a branching unit.

Telstra’s head of International Oliver Camplin-Warner said: “The development of the INDIGO cable system strengthens the link between our Australian network and the fast-growing South East Asian markets and will deliver our customers faster connectivity 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 our customers’ increasing demand for data and maintain our network leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.”

AARNet chief executive Chris Hancock said: “We are looking forward to lighting up INDIGO. This cable system is providing critical underpinning infrastructure to support the future growth in collaborative data-intensive research and transnational education. INDIGO is one of several investments that will ensure that Australia and our partners in Asia have the international connectivity they need to deliver excellence in research and education for many decades to come.”

“As South East Asia and Australia become increasingly interconnected, a high-speed and robust connectivity infrastructure plays a critical role in catalysing the development of digital economies across the regions,” said Singtel’s Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise Ooi Seng Keat.

“The completion of INDIGO will accelerate the roll-out of next-generation technologies that rely on low latency and high-bandwidth connectivity such as high-definition video, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things and robotics applications. This will bring us closer to realising the benefits of a hyper-connected future and allow us to enhance our services to Singtel and Optus customers, reinforcing our position as the leading provider of international data services in the region.”

Drew Kelton, chief executive, Superloop, on behalf of SubPartners, said the commissioning of INDIGO West and Australia’s first transcontinental fibre optic submarine cable, INDIGO Central is a significant achievement.

“INDIGO Central complements Superloop’s metropolitan fibre networks providing high speed capacity and ubiquitous connectivity to terrestrial cable systems across Australia. When combined with the international capacity and interconnectivity to Singapore and Hong Kong, our strategy to virtualise businesses across the Asia Pacific region is now being realised.”

Dejan Kastelic, chief technology and information officer, Indosat Ooredoo, said: “Indosat Ooredoo is excited with the commissioning of INDIGO. It will be diversifying our international connections across Australia and the fast-growing Southeast Asian market, serving demand increase of data traffic and expanding opportunities for our both customers, corporate and retails consumers.

“It supports our vision to become a leading digital telecommunications company by providing world-class data connectivity and also to support Indonesia’s digital economy growth.” Kastelic added.

"Part of Google's global infrastructure investments to improve connectivity, we're excited that INDIGO will enable faster and more reliable services for users, as well as boost business capabilities between South East Asia and Australia," Ashish Ahuja, Global Network Infrastructure at Google said.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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