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Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation’s (Keppel T&T) wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Midgard Holdings Pte. Ltd. (KMH), has been granted a Facilities-Based Operator (FBO) licence by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). The FBO licence will allow KMH to own, maintain and operate telecoms infrastructure in Singapore and to provide telecommunications services in connection with the Bifrost Cable System, which Keppel T&T is undertaking with its partners, Facebook and Telin.

FBOs are operators intending to deploy any form of telecommunication network, systems and facilities to offer telecommunication switching and/or telecommunication services to other licensed telecommunication operators, business, and/or consumers.

Mr Thomas Pang, CEO of Keppel T&T, said, “Securing the FBO licence is an important milestone for Keppel as it marks the start of our subsea cable business in Singapore. The Bifrost project is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030 roadmap, which includes growing our connectivity platform, and will strategically strengthen and broaden the Group’s play across the spectrum of data communications, from network infrastructure, data centres to wireless 5G connectivity. It can give rise to potential opportunities for cross selling or creating new profit pools across Keppel’s different connectivity businesses, for example by leveraging Keppel Data Centres’ network of data centres as potential points of presence. We may also collaborate with funds managed by Keppel Capital to help provide funding for the project. Drawing from our experience in Bifrost, we will also explore other opportunities in subsea cables.”

The Bifrost Cable System, which will be the largest capacity high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean when completed, will bolster Singapore’s role as a digital hub for the region.

Expected to be completed in 2024 and spanning over 15,000 km, the Bifrost Cable System is the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the west coast of North America via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea. It will connect Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America.

The Bifrost cable system will boost the connectivity of the region’s governments and businesses, including cloud operators, telecommunications operators, network providers, over-the-top (OTT) providers, data centres, governments, enterprises, and consumers by offering them competitive pricing and capacity resilience.

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