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AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra announced they have entered into an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build a new international subsea cable system that will connect Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

Once completed, the INDIGO cable system (previously known as APX West & Central) will strengthen links between Australia and the fast-growing Southeast Asian markets, providing lower latency and enhanced reliability. Using today’s coherent optical technology, each of the two-fibre pairs will have a minimum capacity of 18 terabits per second, with the option to increase this capacity in the future.

The system will use a two-fibre pair ‘open cable’ design with spectrum sharing technology. Consortium members will have spectrum ownership providing the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements and future upgrades as required.

The INDIGO cable system will span approximately 9,000km and connect Singapore and Perth, and onwards to Sydney. Within the system, there will be two additional fibre pairs connecting Singapore and Jakarta via a branching unit. The new cable will land in existing facilities in Singapore, Australia, and Indonesia.

“With internet data consumption growing by 70 percent in Asia last year alone, these sorts of investments in international networks are critical for meeting the needs of connected consumers and businesses,” said Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Global Services and International David Burns.

“This will be an important piece of technology infrastructure connecting Southeast Asia and Australia, and follows a number of recent network enhancements Telstra has undertaken to meet growing demand for data and better connectivity from our customers across the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

“This strategic alliance is a great leap forward for Australian Research and Education,” said Chris Hancock, AARNet’s CEO. “It will provide critical infrastructure for meeting the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our Asian partners.”

Alexander Rusli, President Director and CEO Indosat Ooredoo, said: "We are committed to provide robust digital and telecommunications access to Indonesians. INDIGO’s consortium is a strategic and crucial partnership for Indosat Ooredoo that will help provide the digital services needed by Indonesian society.”

“Together, we will enable world-class data connectivity and internet access in line with our vision as Indonesia's leading digital telco,” he added. “High-speed network infrastructure availability, both into and out of Indonesia, is important for business and personal consumers in Indonesia to be able to connect to global content. We are confident this strong partnership with the consortium will deliver a reliable alternative for ever-growing data traffic.”

Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise at Singtel said: “The construction of INDIGO is timely to meet the rising demand for high-speed broadband between Asia and Australia. This cable system complements our global connectivity that links Asia, the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. INDIGO will be a new data superhighway that facilitates Singtel and our subsidiary Optus to catalyze the development of digital economies across the regions.”

ASN will construct the cable, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019.