Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

New sub cable to go live 2016

Armoured submarine cable

Construction has begun on the next major submarine cable, which when it's completed in 2016 will provide a big increase in capacity between South-East Asia and Europe.

Sea-Me-We-5 has a design capacity of 24 Tbps, and will run 20,000 km to link Singapore at one end and France at the other.

Presuming there are no construction delays due to spy agencies wanting to run extra fibres to tap the cable at some as-yet-undiscovered underwater point, ready-for-service for the whole cable is 2016.

On the way, the cable will make landfall at Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Oman, the UAE, Yemen, Djibouti and Saudi Arabia. While the landings haven't been stipulated, El Reg can't help but notice that Oman is home to the formerly-secret GCHQ tapping base at Seeb.

Alcatel-Lucent has begun construction of the western end of the cable, running from Sri Lanka to France. The eastern links are to be built by NEC.

Sea-Me-We 5 comprises a consortium of the carriers of countries where the cable will land, plus China Mobile, China United Network Communications Group, and Telecom Italia Sparkle.

The new cable currently has far fewer landing points than the 39 of predecessor Sea-Me-We 3, and there's no Australian landing as yet. ®

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