A new submarine optical cable system will soon run along Hong Kong, the Philippines, and other Southeast Asia (SEA) countries to substantially enhance digital connectivity in the region.

In a statement on Thursday, fiber broadband provider Converge CEO and co-founder Dennis Uy announced his company’s involvement in the SEA Hainan-Hong Kong Express (SEA-H2X) cable system — a 5,000-kilometer (km) long submarine optical cable utilizing at least eight fiber pairs between Singapore to Hong Kong with a system design capacity of 160 terabits per second (Tbps).

“This submarine cable system will boost the connectivity between our two points of presence (PoP) located in Hong Kong and in Singapore. Further, this will serve as a crucial infrastructure to add diversity and redundancy to our international network,” Uy said.

He added that the system will “truly diversify” Converge’s international capacity portfolio as transpacific demand will be served by the Bifrost cable system, with trans-Asia demand will be serviced by the SEA-H2X.

In a media bulletin, Converge said the system is targeted to be ready for service in 2024 and will employ “state-of-the-art” optical submarine transmission equipment.

“The construction of SEA-H2X will respond to the high broadband demand between Hong Kong SAR and Southeast Asia countries by providing needed capacity and faster transmission, and in preparation for the coming 5G era,” Converge said.

It will connect the Philippines to Hong Kong, Hainan, Thailand, East Malaysia, and Singapore—with options to extend to Vietnam, Cambodia, West Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The cable system will be implemented by HMN Technologies Co., Limited (HMN Tech)—from its design and manufacturing to deployment.

It said the system will employ an “open system model” to have the flexibility to choose “best-in-breed” submarine line terminal equipment from third-party vendors at a later date.

“HMN Tech’s advanced Branching Unit and Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer will benefit SEA-H2X in providing the ultimate flexibility of electrical power and optical fiber switches across multiple locations,” Converge said.

The SEA-H2X cable system is a partnership between several international telecommunications companies including Converge, China Mobile International Limited, China Unicom Global, and PPTEL SEA H2X.

In April last year, Converge partnered with Keppel Midgard Holdings Pte. Ltd. for the right of use for one fiber pair on the main trunk of the Bifrost cable system, a submarine cable system that directly connects Singapore to the west coast of North America. (PNA)

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