Work on the first section of the INDIGO West subsea cable is now complete, after it landed today at Floreat Beach in Perth.
The 2400km cable runs from Christmas Island to Perth. Work on the second section of the cable, which will connect Singapore and Indonesia, will start this month and be complete in December.
The cable system – previously known as APX West – has been built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), backed by a consortium of partners; namely AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra.
The ASN cable ship, the Ile de Brehat, is now preparing to lay the INDIGO Central cable, which will traverse 4,600 kms between Perth and Sydney.
It will strengthen links between Australia and South East Asian markets, Telstra said today, providing lower latency and enhanced reliability.
"Using today’s coherent optical technology, the cable’s two-fibre pairs will be able to support up to 36 terabits per second, the equivalent of simultaneously streaming millions of movies a second," the telco said.
"The INDIGO cable system will utilise new spectrum sharing technology so each consortium member will have the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements for future upgrades and capacity increases on demand," it added.
The INDIGO cable system – covering 9,200km – is expected to be operational by the middle of next year.
“The development of the INDIGO West cable has leveraged Telstra’s engineering expertise and the scale of our Australian network. The cable will connect to Telstra’s extensive terrestrial network to provide onward connectivity around Australia. Once complete, the cable system will strengthen links between Australia and fast-growing South East Asian markets by providing the fastest speeds and dramatically improved reliability," said Paul Abfalter, Telstra’s head of North Asia and global wholesale.
"Our vast subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy and we will continue to invest in additional capacity to meet the increasing demand for data and maintain our network leadership in the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.
Singtel's vice president, carrier services, group enterprise Ooi Seng Keat explained that the cable would meet demand for "bandwidth-intensive applications as well as boost network diversity and resilience".
“This new submarine cable will usher in a new era of high speed communications between the growing economies of Southeast Asia and Australia…We look forward to Optus landing the INDIGO Central cable in Sydney in a few months’ time further reinforcing our position as the leading provider of international connectivity and data services in the region,” he added.
In its announcement of support for INDIGO last year, Google emphasised the potential to boost the bandwidth available to its cloud customers. The company launched a cloud region in Sydney last year.
It has been a busy time for cable laying vessels on Australian seas. The construction of Vocus’ 4,600km ASC submarine cable system which runs from Perth to Singapore via Jakarta and Christmas Island went live last week.
The Vocus cable was also laid by Alcatel Submarine Network ships: its Ile de Batz laid the cable from near Christmas Island to Fremantle, Western Australia, covering a distance of around 3,000km mostly in deep waters. Sister ship, the ASN Ile de Ré laid a 1,600km section of cable in the shallower waters between Singapore and Christmas Island.
The ASC was brought into service early, after disruption on the Sea-Me-We3 (SMW-3) submarine cable between Perth and Singapore prompted an ahead of schedule cut-over.
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