AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra Building New Subsea Cable


AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra have entered into an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build a new international subsea cable system.

Once completed, the INDIGO cable system (previously known as APX West & Central) will strengthen links between Australia and the fast-growing South East Asian markets, providing faster connection speed and enhanced reliability.

The INDIGO cable system will span approximately 9,000 km and connect Singapore and Perth, and onwards to Sydney. Landing in existing facilities in Singapore, Australia and Indonesia, the system will also allow connections between Singapore and Jakarta. The system will use a two-fibre pair ‘open cable’ design with spectrum- sharing technology. This allows consortium members to share ownership of spectrum within the cable, giving them the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements and future upgrades as required.

Using coherent optical technology, which uses light to transmit data along fibre optic cables, each of the two-fibre pairs will have a minimum capacity of 18 terabits per second, with the option to increase this capacity in the future. This effectively means that INDIGO will be able to transmit an equivalent of 7.2 million high definition online movies simultaneously from Singapore to Sydney.

ASN will construct the cable, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

“This strategic alliance is a great leap forward for Australian Research and Education,” said Chris Hancock, AARNet’s CEO. “It will provide critical infrastructure for meeting the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our Asian partners.”

“We are committed to provide robust digital and telecommunications access to Indonesians. INDIGO’s consortium is a strategic and crucial partnership for Indosat Ooredoo that will help provide the digital services needed by Indonesian society. Together, we will enable world-class data connectivity and internet access in line with our vision as Indonesia’s leading digital telco. High-speed network infrastructure availability, both into and out of Indonesia, is important for business and personal consumers in Indonesia to be able to connect to global content. We are confident this strong partnership with the consortium will deliver a reliable alternative for ever-growing data traffic,” said Alexander Rusli, President Director and CEO Indosat Ooredoo.

Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “The construction of INDIGO is timely to meet the rising demand for high-speed broadband between Asia and Australia. This cable system complements our global connectivity that links Asia, the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. INDIGO will be a new data superhighway that facilitates Singtel and Optus to catalyse the development of digital economies across the regions. This next generation cable system will provide our customers with greater network diversity and resilience, and reinforce our position as the leading provider of international data services in the region.”

“The delivery of secure, reliable and high-speed connectivity between Singapore and Sydney has been the core focus of SubPartners since its inception,” said Bevan Slattery, CEO of SubPartners. “We are delighted to be a part of the INDIGO cable system to finally realise this significant infrastructure project, and provide Australia with a new diverse international route into South East Asia.”

Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Global Services and International David Burns said: “With internet data consumption growing by 70 per cent in Asia last year alone these sorts of investments in international networks are critical for meeting the needs of connected consumers and businesses. This will be an important piece of technology infrastructure connecting South East Asia and Australia, and follows a number of recent network enhancements Telstra has undertaken to meet growing demand for data and better connectivity from our customers across the Asia Pacific region.”