ASE cable system launches in Asia-Pacific

ASE cable system launches in Asia-Pacific

The $400 million Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) cable linking Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, with a future connection to Hong Kong, has been opened to traffic.

ASE is 7,800km in length with a minimum design capacity of 15Tbps. It will initially utilise 40Gbps optical technology with a 100Gbps upgrade to come in the future.

The cables route is designed to avoid earthquake prone areas taken by other cables south of Taiwan, which may prove to be an important advantage over competing systems.

“Any cable that takes a unique path and has taken measures to mitigate susceptibility to earthquakes and typhoons will be valued by network operators,” said Alan Mauldin, analyst at TeleGeography.

Consortium members for ASE include NTT Communications of Japan, PLDT of the Philippines, StarHub of Singapore and TM of Malaysia. The cable for the project was supplied by NEC Corp and Fujitsu.

The Japan to Singapore section of ASE offers less than 65 milliseconds latency, an advantage of more than 3 milliseconds over competing cables. NTT hopes that this route will prove particularly attractive to financial customers when linked to its existing global IP network.

Last week PLDT revealed that the cable would double its international bandwidth and suggested that it could link to other Asian markets including China, Indonesia and Vietnam in the future.

There are also two more cables planned for Asia-Pacific, suggesting that there is still belief that the region can support more systems.

The Southeast Asia Japan cable linking Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore is due for completion in the third quarter of 2013.

While the Asia Pacific Gateway linking China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong is due to completion in the third quarter of 2014.

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