27 April 2007

Singapore , 27 April 2007 – StarHub today joins a consortium made up of 17 parties to build the first high-bandwidth optical fibre submarine cable system linking the South East Asia region directly to the United States of America (USA). The cable system, known as the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), is expected to cost approximately US$500 million.

StarHub will also be managing and operating its first cable landing station in Singapore , when the AAG becomes operational by 4Q 2008.

"This new cable system expands Singapore 's global connectivity matrix. And with the recent events of undersea cable cuts and earthquakes, this system provides much needed international route diversity to minimize service disruptions," said Mr Terry Clontz, StarHub's President and CEO. "With StarHub's direct operational involvement in landing and managing the facilities in Singapore , the cable system will expand opportunities to provide corporate data services and wholesale bandwidth in Singapore ."

Operators involved in the project include AT&T (USA), Bharti (India), British Telecom Global Network Services (UK), CAT Telekom (Thailand), Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Philippines), the Government of Brunei Darussalam (Brunei), PT Indosat (Indonesia), PCP Company Limited (Cambodia), Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co. (Philippines), Saigon Postel Corporation (Vietnam), StarHub (Singapore), Telstra (Australia), TELKOM Indonesia (Indonesia), Telecom New Zealand International (New Zealand), Telekom Malaysia (Malaysia), Viettel (Vietnam) and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (Vietnam).

When completed, the20,000km long cable system will connect 10 locations in eight countries across the Asia Pacific region, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the US West Coast. The AAG is intended to complement existing cable systems like the APCN2 & Japan-US Cable Network currently connecting to North America via North Asia . The AAG also provides seamless interconnection for these countries above towards other regions like Europe,  Australia, Africa and other parts of Asia .

The AAG cable system is designed to provide a capacity of up to 1.92 Terabits per second of data bandwidth. The AAG utilises Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology, which enables it to provide upgradeable future proof transmission facilities that support Internet and e-commerce traffic.

The AAG is expected to meet the forecasted explosive growth in bandwidth requirements for new and revolutionary broadband applications such as IP, video, data, and other multimedia services. To illustrate the high capacity of the AAG, it could support about 130,000 High Definition Television (HDTV) signals simultaneously.

Besides providing additional bandwidth capacity, the AAG is intended to provide an alternative and a more secure link for traffic from the region to the USA . This low risk route was designed to avoid the volatile and hazardous Pacific Ring, thus mitigating the effects from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, which have previously damaged submarine cable systems, resulting in major disruptions to international Internet links.

A consortium made up of Alcatel-Lucent and NEC, has been awarded the contract for the construction of the AAG cable system.