New submarine cable for South East Asia

Created November 8, 2022
News and Business

A consortium of telecommunication companies led by Singapore operator Singtel, has signed agreements to invest about US$300 million for a submarine cable system in South East Asia that aims to boost data capacity in the region and upgrade local capacities. The group also includes China Telecom Global Limited of China, Globe Telecom, Inc., DITO Telecommunity Corporation of the Philippines, and Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd of Brunei Darussalam.

The planned Asia Link Cable (ALC) will be approximately 6,000-kilometre in length, connecting Hong Kong SAR, China and Singapore as its trunk, with branches into the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam and Hainan, China. HMN Technologies Co., Limited (HMN Tech) was awarded as the system supplier and is expected to complete the construction of ALC by the third quarter of 2025. ALC is seen to provide additional hyper-capacity within Asia and boost resiliency for international traffic. It will have a minimum eight fibre pairs in the system, with 18 Tbps/fibre pair minimum trunk design capacity, adding more capacity and diversity to existing networks in the region. An open cable system architecture will be adopted for ALC, enabling operators to select and maintain independent line terminal equipment that would suit their customer requirements.

ALC Co-Chair Mr Chang Weiguo (CTG) pointed out, “ALC is a great accomplishment of Asian carriers which overcame difficulties of Covid impacts, and it is also the only subsea project with zero-face-to-face meetings from the MoU to the C&MA signing in the industry. ALC consortium adopts an open and inclusive principle and will attract more investors in the near future to make it more cost effective, which will reinforce the resilience of interconnectivity in Asia and better serve digital economy in the region.”

ALC Co-Chair, Mr Alan Tan at Singtel said, “We started planning and designing the ALC cable more than two years ago at the onset of the pandemic, having anticipated the inevitable growth in high-definition content consumption, trade and innovation in this region. Despite the challenges presented by safe management restrictions, we managed to come up with a system that will help meet the evolving needs of consumers and enterprises and boost local economies today and in the near future.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.