NEC lands supply contract for SE Asian AAE-1 segment

The consortium behind the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system project has signed a supply contract with NEC for the S1H segment, which connects Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Stretching approximately 25,000 km, AAE-1 is scheduled to be ready for service in 2016 as the first high-capacity intercontinental submarine cable to pass through the Songkhla and Satun provinces of southern Thailand. In fact, AAE-1 will be the first high-capacity cable system to link all major South East Asian nations to Africa and Europe via the Middle East.

Serving unprecedented growth in Asia-Africa trade – as well as the booming markets of Vietnam and neighbouring countries – this new cable system will deliver robust, reliable and low-latency connectivity. It will also provide much-needed diversity for the congested subsea systems currently connecting countries along the route.

The consortium will work with NEC to ensure AAE-1’s Thailand-Hong Kong segment is ready for service at the same time as the Europe-Asia segment. Overall project progress is on schedule, with implementation works underway for the Europe-Asia segment – following award of a supply contract earlier in the year – together with marine survey activity in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

AAE-1 will employ 100Gbps technology, with wavelength add/drop branching units along the lowest-latency route, as well as cross-sectional capacity to a minimum of 80x100Gbps in each trunk fibre pair. This collaborative venture will produce the largest cable system on this route throughout Points of Presence (PoPs) in Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore.

When completed in 2016, the AAE-1 cable network will connect Hong Kong (SAR of China), Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France, with other locations under consideration.

AAE-1 Management Committee Chairman, Troy Li said: “The project will serve consortium members’ business interests in the Asia-Africa trade corridor and their plans to deliver services into Africa and on to the Middle East. Another good reason for pursuing this game-changing venture is that infrastructure is becoming critical to the accelerating evolution of global data movement.”

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