New submarine cable to connect Australia to Singapore

APX-West finally green-lit as Telstra, Singtel sign on for consortium build by 2018

SubPartners' APX-West cable from Perth to Singapore will finally go ahead, after the company changed its business model to a consortium build.

Mooted for some years now, the company originally wanted to finance and build the cable itself and sell access to all comers. It proved difficult to convince investors, however, so although it had secured landing rights in Australia and Singapore, construction hasn't yet begun.

With carriers Telstra and Singtel signing a memorandum of understanding for all the capacity on the 4,500 km cable, it will now go ahead, with construction expected to finish in 2018.

Each of the two fibre pairs in the system has a minimum design capacity of 10 Tbps, and the cable will land in “facilities operated by the consortium members” in each country.

There's also the tantalising prospect of APX-West improving links between Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Right now, the ageing Sea-Me-We 3 provides connectivity for Western Australia, and it's increasingly prone to breaks.

Its successor, Sea-Me-We 4, doesn't land in Australia.

Nor does Sea-Me-We 5, due for completion at the end of this year, but Singtel is a partner in the 24 Tbps system and recently announced that its Singapore landing station is complete.

Australia's international connectivity was squeezed earlier this year by a break on the PPC-1 cable near Guam that was repaired early in March. ®




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