Fast internet connectivity: 5,000km submarine cable linking HK, China, SEA to be ready by 2024, with landing into Sarawak

The SEA-H2X high-performance submarine cable system aims to bring speed and capacity to support the digital transformation in Asia.

KUCHING, May 12: A 5,000km new submarine internet cable system linking Hong Kong, Hainan China, Philippines, Thailand, East Malaysia (with landing into Sarawak) and Singapore, with options to extend to Vietnam, Cambodia, West Malaysia and Indonesia, will be constructed to meet rising demand for connectivity and speed across multiple regions, and in preparation for the coming 5G era.

Dubbed the South East Asia Hainan-Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X), it will consist of at least eight fiber pairs between Hong Kong and Singapore, with a design capacity of 160 terabits per second.

If all goes to schedule, the system is targeted to be ready-for-service in 2024.

The SEA-H2X consortium comprising Sarawak-based international telecommunication infrastructure provider PP Telecommunication (PPTEL) through its subsidiary PPTEL SEA H2X Sdn Bhd, China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Unicom Global (CUG), and Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc (Converged) from the Philippines announced this in reaffirming their partnership to construct and operate the new submarine cable system today.

According to a media release, the parties to the SEA-H2X Project have appointed HMN Technologies Co Limited, an advanced provider of innovative, reliable and flexible turnkey submarine network solutions on a global scale, to build the cable in a fully funded project that will greatly enhance intra-Asian connectivity.

Key executives of the SEA-H2X Submarine Cable System consortium and the contractor gather to reaffirm their partnership to construct and operate the South East Asia Hainan – Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X).

PPTEL chief executive officer (CEO) Jonathan Smith said that PPTEL SEA-H2X is excited to join its partners in the region with investment consisting of a trunk fiber pair and a branch into Sarawak.

“PPTEL SEA-H2X is transforming the telecoms landscape in Malaysia from our home base in Kuching, where we are launching the first Tier IV Data Centre in the region in Q1 2022, co-located with our new CLS at Santubong.

“Our strategic location allows us to offer new low latency routings between China and Jakarta, via SEA-H2X and BaSICS (Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System), which is also expected to complete in Q1 2022,” he said in the statement.

With extensive fibre reach throughout Malaysia and Indonesia through its partner XL, Smith emphasised that PPTEL is providing the backbone for the Sarawak government’s Digital Transformation 2030 ambitions both domestically and internationally.

CMI chairman and CEO Dr Li Feng hopes that the construction plans for the submarine cable can be successfully implemented as soon as possible.

“We are honoured to be a partner in the SEA-H2X Project which will provide high-speed, low-latency, and low-cost data connections for customers in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) region, to further accelerate economic development of its members,” he said.

GUG chairman and president Dr Meng Shusen, on the other hand, emphasised that the submarine cable is irreplaceable in building robust, secure and accessible global network connections in the digital era.

“As an important large-bandwidth submarine system in the region, SEA-H2X will further upgrade connectivity to Hong Kong, Hainan and Southeast Asia countries, boosting unimpeded trade, communication, and financial integration along the route. We are proud to participate in this trans-Asia cable project,” he said.

Converge CEO and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy added that this trans-Asia cable will respond to the booming data traffic between Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

“This submarine cable system will boost the connectivity between our two PoPs located in Hong Kong and in Singapore. Further, this will serve as a crucial infrastructure to add diversity and redundancy to our international network. We are truly diversifying our international capacity portfolio as transpacific demand will be served by the Bifrost, and now trans-Asia demand will be served by SEA-H2X,” he shared.

HMN Tech CEO Mao Shengjiang has also expressed its commitment in that its state-of-art technology and expert deployment abilities will contribute to the consortium to build a high-speed, large-capacity and low-latency system fast and successfully and to enhance the intra-Asian connectivity. — DayakDaily