Asia Africa Europe - 1 cable ready to roll

Asia Africa Europe - 1 cable ready to roll

The next-generation intercontinental super-highway comes into service

Sponsored contentAAE-1 (Asia-Africa-Europe-1) is a 25000km unique, next generation cable system built by a consortium of 19 global service providers. It is the largest cable system constructed in almost 15 years and the first next generation cable system to link all major Asian, African, Middle Eastern and European nations via the lowest latency subsea route.

By cooperating closely with renowned suppliers and vendors, and with the strong, integral support of its owners, this complex project is now ready for commercial service. The major portion of the cable route connecting Singapore and Vietnam to Europe will be RFS by end of May, while the remaining locations of Hong Kong, Cambodia and Myanmar will be connected to the system by October.


Upon its completion the system will provide express connectivity to gateways in Gulf Countries (Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE), to Africa (Djibouti, Egypt) and critically diverse subsea connectivity to emerging markets in Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Yemen.   

An example of technical excellence and innovation

The system deploys a state-of-the-art 100G transmission technology with a minimum design capacity of 40 Tbps and future-proof design to accommodate advancements in optical technology. It is built around 5 fiber pairs for the part from Singapore to Europe and extends towards Hong Kong, Cambodia and Vietnam by crossing Thailand with 4 fiber pairs. AAE-1 is the first high capacity intercontinental Submarine cable passing through the Songkhla and Satun provinces of Thailand by avoiding transiting the Malacca Strait. This makes it the lowest latency cable connecting South China Sea with Indian Ocean. 

Each trunk fiber-pair in AAE-1’s segments has a cross-sectional capacity of minimum 80x100Gbps and each branch is implemented with optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes. That offers direct connectivity between any two landing sites via express, low-latency routes (with an express route between Egypt and Malaysia/Thailand being more than 9,000 km) and also improves RTD figures towards Hong Kong and Singapore by more than 10 msec (compared to existing cable systems). 

Moreover by having full landings only in the terrestrial crossings of Egypt, Thailand and Malaysia and the terminal locations of Singapore, Hong Kong and Marseilles the system design avoids crossing terrestrial waters wherever possible along the way, protecting the trunk from fiber cuts and service interruptions. 

AAE-1 is connecting Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, with Malaysia and Singapore, then onwards to Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France. Its completion in 2017 will provide additional protection and diversity to the already existing heavily congested route.   

A business proposal that makes sense in today’s international telecom market

Demand between Europe and Asia continues to grow as the emerging markets in Asia are making significant investments to make internet faster and more accessible to both fixed and mobile users. Network diversity is also a priority in network planning today. It is critical to have more than one route; for continuity of services, for security and for efficiency of the network. Finally new infrastructure needs to be cost competitive to cater for price erosion. 

AAE-1 is offering the broadest coverage along the Europe to Asia corridor.

It offers two diversified Points of Presence (PoP) in Asia, terminating at well-known Carrier Data Centers in Hong Kong (Telecom House) and Singapore (Equinix SG3 & Global Switch). It connects to key markets along the Eurasia route i.e. India, etc. and provides three onward and unique connectivity options in Europe via Greece, Italy and France where the cable is terminated in the Interxion MRS1 & MRS2 Carrier Data Centers of Marseilles.  

By connecting to major carrier Data Centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Marseilles, AAE-1 Parties can choose their preferred backhaul providers available in these PoPs or in AAE-1 Cable Landing Stations in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Moreover by utilizing a distribution model based on fixed, point to point capacities between any two landing points, the system’s design capacity at any given time is  distributed to AAE-1 parties, with no capacity reserves needed to overcome congestion. Hence AAE-1 Parties have capacity entitlement along the route on day-1 and can activate this capacity in accordance with their own or their customers’ requirements anytime. This model simplifies the process of capacity activation and lowers operational costs. 

According to Mr. Joseph Chan, AAE-1 MC Chair, from PCCW Global: 

“We are pleased to be playing a critical role in extending all system owners’ capabilities to a number of new markets along the AAE-1 cable route. AAE-1 creates a remarkable opportunity to its owners in providing an alternate, unique and low latency network solution other than those available in the subsea cable market.”

For more information, please visit 

Gift this article