There are now the following submarine cables landing in Mainland China:

Cables to the US:

  • China-US CN (retired)
  • TPE
  • NCP

Cables connecting Asia:

  • APCN-2
  • APG
  • EAC-C2C
  • SJC
  • SJC2 (2021)
  • TSE-1
  • Xiamen-Jinmen

Cables to Africa and Europe:

  • FLAG Europe-Asia
  • SMW3

The cables land at 8 submarine cable landing stations in China.

China Telecom owns three cable landing stations, including

China Unicom owns four cable landing stations, including:

China Mobile owns one cable landing stations:

  • the Lingang Cable Landing Station for NCP and SJC2 (2021);

For provision of cable-based external fixed service, an interested party is required to obtain a UCL (External) from OFTA. Apart from leasing capacity on existing submarine cables for provision of service, a holder of UCL (External) may also choose to land their own cables in Hong Kong, either by using an existing CLS or building a new CLS.

As of January 2020, there are 11 submarine cable systems connecting Hong Kong, namely, Asia Africa Europe-1 ("AAE-1"), Asia-America Gateway Cable System ("AAG"), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 ("APCN-2"), Asia Pacific Gateway (“APG”), Asia Submarine-Cable Express ("ASE"), EAC - C2C, FLAG Europe Asia ("FEA"), FLAG North Asia Loop ("FNAL") / REACH North Asia Loop ("RNAL"), Sea-Me-We 3 ("SMW3"), South-East Asia Japan Cable System ("SJC") and TGN-Intra Asia Cable System ("TGN-IA"). Several other systems are under construction or being planned.

Cables with Intra-Asia connectivity:

  • Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 ("APCN-2"),
  • FLAG North Asia Loop ("FNAL") / REACH North Asia Loop ("RNAL"),
  • EAC-C2C,
  • TGN-Intra Asia Cable System ("TGN-IA") 
  • Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE, 2013), 
  • South-East Asia Japan Cable System (SJC, 2013)
  • Asia Pacific Gateway (APG,2016)
  • Southeast Asia–Japan 2 (SJC2, 2021)

Cables connecting Europe, Africa and EMEA regions:

  • FLAG Europe Asia ("FEA"),
  • Sea-Me-We 3 ("SMW3"),
  • Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1,2017),

Cables connecting the United States:

  • Asia-America Gateway (AAG, 2009),
  • Pacific Light Cable Network(PLCN, 2020),
  • Hong Kong - America(HKA, under construction), 
  • Hong Kong - Guam (HK-G, under construction), 
  • Bay to Bay Express (BtoBE, pending for construction).

Cables connecting Australia:

And there are eight submarine cable landing stations (CLS) in Hong Kong, including three at Tseung Kwan O, two at Tong Fuk, and each at Deep Water Bay, Chung Hom Kok and Cape D'Aguilar respectively.

Cable Landing Stations in Hong Kong

Cable Landing Stations in Hong Kong

Due to the geography of Hong Kong, the submarine cables are landed in Hong Kong from international waters via the southeast direction. This has restricted the choice of landing sites for submarine cables even though Hong Kong has a long coastline. Currently, there are three major areas for landing of submarine cables with cable landing stations at: (1) Tong Fuk in the southern part of Lantau Island; (2) Deep Water BayCape D’Aguilar and Chung Hom Kok in the southern part of the Hong Kong Island; and (3) Tseung Kwan O in the eastern part of the New Territories.

As most of the existing submarine cables are landed at Tong Fuk and Deep Water Bay, there are advantages in having additional cables landed in new pieces of land elsewhere. It will offer the necessary physical diversity to land submarine cables at TKO (Tseung Kwan O) where accomodates many leading data centers in Hong Kong, such as HKEx, Global Switch, MEGA Plus, Hong Kong Financial Data Center, etc. 

Japan is the Hub for telecommunications in APAC region. there are more than 20 international submarine cable landing stations in Japan, with cables connecting the United Station, Australia, Russia, Pan-Asia, Europe and Africa, including:

  • 8 transpacific cables connecting the US: Japan-US CN, PC-1, TGN-Pacific, TPE, Unity, FASTER, NCP, Jupiter
  • 2 cables connecting Australia: AJC, JGA
  • 3 cable connecting Russia: RJK, RJCN, HSCS
  • 8 intra-asia cable: APCN-2, EAC-C2C, APG, ASE, FNAL/RNAL, SJC, SJC2, TGN-IA. Additionally, TPE, NCP, FASTER, Jupiter, SMW3, FLAG FEA and RJK also offer intra-asia connectivity.
  • 2 cable reaching Europe and Africa: SMW3, FLAG FEA

 

Cable Landing Stations in Japan
Cable Landing Sites in Japan

South Korea is home to the fastest internet in the world, and also leads in the world to launch the world’s first commercial 5G mobile network in April 2019.

KT, SK, LG U+ and Sejong are the major telecom operators in South Korea.

KT is the leader in broadband internet and international submarine cable business in South Korea, has been invested in TPE, NCP, SMW3, APG, APCN-2, etc. 

LG U Plus partners with Telstra to operate a joint venture Dacom Crossing in South Korea. LG U Plus and Telstra hold 51% and 49% shares in Dacom Crossing respectively. Dacom Crossing is landing party for EAC cable (a part of the EAC-C2C network) and FNAL/RNAL cable.

SK Broadband has invested in SJC2 cable systme and is the landing party in Busan, with half fiber pair ownership (or 9Tbps). SK Broadband will terminate its SJC2 capacity directly to carrier neutral data center in Seoul, the Seoul #3 Data Center.

Sejong Telecom partners with Telstra on C2C cable (a part of the EAC-C2C network), owns C2C cable landing station in Busan. Sejong is also a leading carrier neutral data center provider in South Korea.

Busan is the hub and gateway for subsea cable landing connecting Asia, Europe and the US.

KT, SK Broadband and Sejong have cable landing stations in Busan, APCN-2, APG, FNAL/RNAL, FLAG FEA, SJC2, ADC, NCP, R-J-K and TPE lands in Busan.

Besides Busan, there are also cable landing stations in Keoje, Taean.

Singapore is a hub in the submarine networks for connections from East Asia to South Asia,  Persian Gulf,  Mediterranean,  and Europe regions, and vice versa. Many submarine cable have been developed and are developing into Singapore.

The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is the lead agency for facilitating the deployment of submarine cable systems into Singapore. The IMDA provides guidance to interested parties and facilitates the process for applying for the necessary permits from various authorities. a Facilities-Based Operations (FBO) licence is required to deploy the submarine cable system into Singapore.

According to the 2016 edition of the Guidelines on Deployment of Submarine Cables into Singpaore issued by IMDA, as of September 2016, Singapore is connected to 17 active submarine cable systems, with a potential bandwidth capacity of more than 410 Tbps. These 17 submarine cable systems are landed in three designated landing sites in Singapore, namely the Changi North landing site, the Tanah Merah landing site, and the Tuas landing site. All new submarine cable systems can only be deployed to designated landing sites and each landing site is available on a first-come-first-served basis. 

There are now seven cable landing stations in Singapore, including:

 

Submarine Cable Landing Sites in Singapore
Submarine Cable Landing Sites in Singapore,  Source: IMDA

 

Here is a complete list of submarine cables connecting Singapore:

Cables northeastwards to Asia

Cables westwards to South and West Asia

Cables westwards to Europe and Africa (as well as South and West Asia)

  • AAE-1(2017). The AAE-1 doesn't land in Singapore, instead in Malaysia. With terrestrial extension between Malaysia and Singapore as a part of the AAE-1 cable system, AAE-1 Singapore PoPs are located at Equinix and Global Switch data centers in Singapore 
  • SMW3
  • SMW4
  • SMW5 (2016)
  • SMW6 (2023)

Cables eastwards to Australia

Cables connecting the United Station

  • AAG
  • BtoBE (2022 or later)
  • SEA-US (2018). The SEA-US terminates in Kauditan, Indonesia, without landing in Singpaore. Combined with SEA-US, Telin's IGG and other subsea cables, the SEA-US forms an importan route connecting Singapore and the US.

 

Updated: February 2020.

There are now 15 submarine cables landing in 7 cable landing stations in Taiwan:

 

Cable Landing Stations in Taiwan

 

Global internet giants and operators have heavy investments in Taiwan. 

Google has two hyperscale data centers in Taiwan, one in Changhua County which costs US$780 million and was completed in 2013, the other in Tainan Technology Industrial Park which will cost US$850 million, with a power supply of 10MW. So, Google builds two subsea cable connecting Taiwan and the US, FASTER and PLCN. Google also acquies huge capacity on other subsea cables connectign Taiwan.

Facebook has significant investment on subsea cables connecting Taiwan, including APGSJC2 and HKA. Especially, Facebook owns 4 out of the six fiber pairs on HKA Toucheng/Taiwan Branch. 

Besides local operators including Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone Telecom (NCIC), etc., Telstra represents a key player on submarine cable business in Taiwan, its EAC-C2C network landing in 4 cable landing stations in Taiwan, and being HKA landing party in Taiwan.

Geographically, the east and south coast of Taiwan island is of significant importance for the submarine networks, and is also a high-risk region for the submarine networks due to the characteristics of the geology of Taiwan.

The east and south of Taiwan are a complex system of belts formed by, and part of the zone of, active collision between the North Luzon Through portion of the Luzon Volcanic Arc and South China, where accreted portions of the Luzon Arc and Luzon forearc form the eastern Coastal Range and parallel inland Longitudinal Valley of Taiwan respectively. This region is encountered frequent seismic faults which may caused serious harmful impact to the submarine networks. For example, the magnitude 7.0 Hengchun Earthquake in December 2006 resulted in 18 cable cuts in 8 submarine cable systems, atastrophically disrupted Internet services in Asia and Pan-Pacific regions.

The Philippines takes an important position in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry worldwide. Submarine networks serve as critical components to the BPO industry, providing reliable and diverse links between the Philippines and the rest of the world.

Since the acquisition of Digitel by PLDT in 2011 and the takeover of Bayantel by Globe Telecom in 2013, PLDT and Globe Telecom have formed the duopoly on international subsea cable market in the Philippines. 

In 2017,  the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the state-owned firm Bases Conversion and Development and Development Authority (BCDA) collaborated with Facebook to land PLCN in the Phillippines under the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) project which is a government initiative for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) , the first of its kind for the Philippine government to implement by building and operating its own submarine cable landing stations. The BCDA builds the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure (LBI) made up of two cable landing stations and a 250 km long cable network corridor connecting the two cable landing stations.  

There are now 10 international submarine cable systems landing 9 cable landing stations in the Philippines.

PLDT's cable landing stations include:

Globe Telecom's cable landing stations include:

BCDA's cable landing stations include:

DICT has signed agreement to offer its cable landing facilities to China Telecom Global which is the third telecom operator in the Phillipines.

(Updated: Feb 2020)

Cable Landing Stations in the Philippines
Cable Landing Stations in the Philippines

There are now 9 international submarine cables landing in Malaysia, including APCN, APCN-2, AAG, SMW3, SMW4, FEA, and several cables between Malaysia and Indonesia such as Batam-Dumai-Melaka (BDM) Cable System, Dumai Malaka Cable System (DMCS) and Batam-Rengit Cable System (BRCS).

There are two cable landing sites in Vietnam, and six in-service submarine cable systems connecting Vietnam.

VNPT and Viettel are the dominant international submarine cable operators in Vietnam. Viettel has invested in AAG, TGN-IA, APG and AAE-1, and hosts the cable landing station in Vietnam for AAE-1 with its US$50 million investment in the AAE-1 cable project.

VNPT Vung Tau Cable Landing Station:

  • AAG 
  • TGN-IA
  • TVH (Tailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong)

VNPT Danang Cable Landing Station:

Viettel Vung Tau Cable Landing Station:

VNPT has invested in SJC2 which is expected to land in Vietnam in 2022.

Submarine Cables to/from India
Submarine Cables to/from India, by Suvesh Chattopadhyaya

 

Currently, there are 15 subsea cables (17 if Seacom and MENA are considered seperate cables) landing in 15 cable landing stations in 5 cities across India, in MumbaiChennaiCochinTuticorin and Trivandrum.

BSNL plans to construct new cable landing stations in Digha, Cochin, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. IOX will construct a new cable landing station at Puducherry. Reliance Jio is planning for new cables and landing station.

To have a full picture about submarine cables landing in India, please read following articles by an Indian expert Mr. Suvesh Chattopadhyaya:

According to Mr. Suvesh Chattopadhyaya's contribution, here is a complete list of submarine cables landing in India:

Complete List of Submarine Cables Landing in India
Complete List of Submarine Cables Landing in India, by Suvesh Chattopadhyaya

Thailand wins a rising importance in the international telecommunicatons and Internet market with its geographical advantage and open market strategy. 

According to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), there are now 11 licensed International Internet Gateway (IIG) providers and more than 200 Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Thailand; there are also 280+ telecom service providers in Thailand, more than 60 providers are granted with international telecom services licenses for IPLC, IDD, etc. The market for international connectivity in Thailand is highly competitive, with no single telecoms company controlling a significant amount of the market.

According to NBTC, the international Internet gateway bandwidth in Thailand has been more than 10Tbps as of the end of 2019.

  • TOT, TRUE and 3BB (Jastel) are leading and dominating on fixed broadband service, accounting for a total of approximately 87% market share by the end of 2018.
  • AIS Group, DTAC Group and TRUE are leading and dominating on mobile broadband service, accounting for a total of approximately 97% market share by the end of 2018.
  • CSL-IX, Thailand-IX (CAT), AWN-IX (AIS), TIG-IX (TRUE) and Jastel-IX are leading international Internet gateway providers, each with international bandwidth of more than 1Tbps. TCCT-IX and TOT-IX each has about 700Gbps of international bandwidth. 

The majority of Thailand international bandwidth rans to either Singapore or Hong Kong via various submarine cable systems. Thailand also connects neighboring countries with cross-border terrestrial cable systems.

There are now 8 international submarine cable systems landing in Thailand:

CAT is the leading operator for international submarine cable sytems in Thailand, being the landing party in Thailand for FEA, SMW3, SMW4, AAG, APG and TIS, owns and operates five submarine cable landing stations including

  • the Sri Racha Cable Landing Station,
  • the Petchaburi Cable Landing Station,
  • the Songkhla Cable Landing Station,
  • the Satun Cable Landing Station, and
  • the Chumphon Cable Landing Station (now for domestic cable)

TOT is the landing party in Thailand for AAE-1 and operates cable landing stations in Satun and Songkhla.

Sympony is a member of the Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) cable system, owns and operates the Maolee Cable Landing Station.

TRUE Corporation has invested in SJC2 cable system which is expected to be completed in 2022.

The SEA-ME-WE 3 (SMW3) is currently the only international submarine cable system reaching Myanmar, landing at the Pyapon Cable Landing Station in Myanmar.

Brunei Darussalam is shaping up as a bandwidth transit hub for the Bornean States of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan. Terrestrial fibre optic cables connect these Bornean States to Brunei cable landing stations which then provide direct connectivity to 9 international destinations, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, China and USA.

The Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI) facilitates the deployment of telecommunication infrastructure and services, including submarine cables, in Brunei. An Infrastructure Provider for the Telecommunication Industry (InTi) is required to deploy a submarine cable system into Brunei.

As of January 2020, Brunei Darussalam is connected to 4 active submarine cable systems, with a potential bandwidth capacity of 10 Tbps. These 4 submarine cable systems are landed in two cable landing sites in Brunei, namely the Tungku landing site and the Telisai landing site.

There are currently two cable landing stations:

  • Tungku Submarine Cable Station
  • Telisai Submarine Cable Station

 

Cable Landing Stations in Brunei Darussalam
Cable Landing Stations in Brunei Darussalam, Source: UNN

 

There are now four submarine cables connecting Brunei:

  • AAG - Asia America Gateway cable
  • SJC - South East Asia Japan Cable
  • SMW3 - South East Asia Middle-East West Europe 3 cable
  • LBC - Labuan Brunei Cable.

Riding on the strong growth in IP-based traffic, Brunei has successfully lighted up 10 Tbps of international capacity to fuel bandwidth demand.

Brunei’s geographical location with no history of natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes, and substantially lower power costs, presented the sultanate with added advantages as a connectivity and transit hub for the underserved regions of Borneo Island and the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines East Asia Growth Area)

Brunei is connected Sabah and Sarawak of Malaysia and the West Kalimantan Province of Indonesia with terrestrial connectivity via the border crossing of Sungai Tujoh, and with commercial traffic of 1 Tbps.

 

Contributed by: Marcus Ang, et al., UNN

There are two cable landing stations in Sri Lanka, the Mount Lavinia Cable Landing Stations for SMW3 and BLCS cable systems, and the Colombo Cable Landing Station for FALCON, SEA-ME-WE-4,SLT-Dhiraagu and SAFE cable systems.

There are now two submarine cables landing in Bangladesh: SEA-ME-WE 4 (SMW4)  and SEA-ME-WE 5 (SMW5), at Cox's Bazaar cable landing station and Kuakata cable landing station respectively.

Both SMW4 and SMW5 are built and owned by Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL) .

Mango, the only private sector international internet gateway (IIG) operator of Bangladesh, is connected to the global internet using the SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable system.  Mango won its license through an open auction from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on February 25, 2008.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued draft licensing guidelines for two new submarine cable licences in early 2010. Each licensee should build a separate landing station within the general area of Khula-Patuakhali-Barisal-Chittagong, and should provide access, co-location and landing facilities to other submarine cable licensees, as and when required by the BTRC.

Besides the international submarine communication cable connecting Bangladesh, there are three terrestrial cables on India-Bangladesh boarders in Jessore, Sylhet-Comilla and Kurigram which may also bring Bangladesh into the global communication network.

 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position at the heart of the Middle East and is a hub in the submarine networks in Middle East region.

There are now 13 in-service submarine cable systems connecting Saudi Arabia, namely:

  • Saudi Arabia-Sudan-1 ( SAS-1,2003)
  • Saudi Arabia-Sudan-2 (SAS-2, 2011)
  • India-Middle East-Western Europe( IMEWE ,2009)
  • Europe India Gateway (EIG ,2011)
  • South-East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3( SE-ME-WE-3,1999)
  • South-East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 4 (SE-ME-WE-4, 2005 )
  • South-East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 5 (SE-ME-WE-5, 2016)
  • FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA , 1997)
  • FLAG Alcatel Lucent Optical Network ( FALCON, 2006)
  • Middle East North Africa (MENA , 2014)
  • Gulf Bridge International (GBI , 2012)
  • SEACOM/Tata TGN-Eurasia ( 2009)
  • Asia Africa Europe ( AAE-1, 2017)

There are no new submarine cable systems under construction or planning. However , there are expectations of new submarine cables announcements  in the year 2019 due high bandwidth demand & route diversity.

 

Cable Landing Stations in Saudi Arabia

 

Jeddah Landing Station, Al Khobar Landing Station and Yanbu Landing Station are connected to each other through completed redundant terrestrial network.

As most of the existing submarine cables are landed at Jeddah due to easy onward connectivity from Asia to Egypt & Europe.  There are advantages in having additional cables landed in new pieces of land elsewhere. As an example, SE-ME-WE-5 cable landed in Yanbu. Yanbu was selected as a SE-ME-WE-5 landing site for ease of connections to capital city Riyadh and Jeddah, as well as the fact that the seabed off its shore is very favorable for submerging the marine cable and could offer the necessary physical diversity.

  • JeddahCable Landing Station
  • Al Khobar Cable Landing Station
  • Yanbu Cable Landing Station

Contributed by Abdul Ravoof