17 carriers sign up to construct AAE-1 submarine cable

28 January 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


17 international carriers have partnered to announce the construction of a new submarine cable system called Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1).

The 15,000km submarine cable will run from south east Asia to Africa and Europe through Egypt, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand , Oman, AE, Djibouti, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy and France.

PCCW, which was one of the first companies to announce the news, stated that the AAE -1 will be the first high capacity cable system to link Asia to Africa and Europe via the Middle East. Marc Halbfinger, CEO at the company believes the additional capacity in the regions will aid increasing demand for cloud and CDN, serving to “revolutionise communications between Asia and Africa”.

“The AAE-1 project builds on our already extensive strategic cooperation with other consortium members,” said Halbfinger. “Not only will the construction of the AAE-1 complement our existing network and ensure added resilience and security, it will also provide us with new and extensive coverage for future expansion.”

PCCW said the new system will also serve as an alternative to the existing heavily congested subsea cables connecting the various countries along the route.

“Our investment in AAE-1 will further enhance our position in Hong Kong as a regional telecommunications hub, and will also improve the ability of PCCW Global’s international cable network to withstand natural disasters such as the massive earthquakes which have occurred in the region over the past few years,” said Alex Arena, managing director at HKT, which owns PCCW Global. 

Carriers which have entered the agreement include: China Unicom, Chuan Wei, Djibouti Telecom, Etisalat, Mobily, Omantel, OTEGLOBE, Ooredoo, Pakistan Telecommunication, Telecom Egypt, TOT, Viettel.

AAE-1 is expected to be ready for service by 2016.