Asia-Europe-Africa Submarine Cable Systems








RJK (Russia-Japan-Korea) is a submarine cable system linking Russia, Japan and Korea. The RJK cable consists of two fiber pairs, stretches of 1762 Km, with three cable landing station:

The RJK cable system was designed with 560 Mbps PDH system over each fiber pair. The RJK cable system began operation in January 1995.

The RJCN (or Russia-Japan Cable Network) is a 1800-km submarine cable system with diverse cable routes connecting Japan and Russia, with a design capacity of 640 Gbps. The RJCN was ready for service on September 5 2008. By interconnecting with the Transit Europe Asia (TEA) terrestrial cable, the RJCN and the TEA can offer the shortest latency (approximately 196 ms) between Tokyo and London. And 10 Gbps transparent wavelength is available on the RJCN and TEA route.

The Hokkaido-Sakhalin Cable System (HSCS) is a undersea cable system between Ishikari, Hokkaido in Japan and Nevelsk, Sakhalin in Russia, jointly built by TTK and NTT. The HSCS has a design capacity of 640 Gbps, with a total cable length of 500 km. And the HSCS was ready for service on July 3, 2008. With the seamless combination of the HSCS and the Europe-Russia-Asia (ERA), a trans-Russia terrestrial backbone of TTK, NTT and TTK can offer an alternative and low latency route for the traffic between Asia and Europe.

Europe India Gateway

The IMEWE ( India-Middle East-Western Europe) submarine cable is a 13000km submarine cable system which links India & Europe via Middle.

The IMEWE cable system consists of three fiber pairs, with two fiber pairs on an express path, plus a terrestrial link connecting the cities of Alexandria and Suez in Egypt. The initial design capacity of IMEWE cable system is 3.84Tbps, as a 10Gbps DWDM system. 

The IMEWE cable system includes 10 cable landing stations in eight countries: India, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy and France.

The IMEWE consortium comprises of nine major telecom companies: Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom-Orange (France), OGERO (Lebanon), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (Pakistan), Saudi Telecom Company STC (Saudi Arabia), Telecom Egypt (Egypt), Telecom Italia Sparkle (Italy), and Tata Communications (India). 

The IMEWE cable system was ready for service on 11th Dec, 2010

In 2012, the IMEWE cable system was upgraded with 40Gbps DWDM supplied by Mitsubishi Electric.

In 2016, the IMEWE cable system completed an upgrade with 100 Gbps DWDM supplied by Mitsubishi Electric, increasing its system capacity to 5.6Tbps.

In Oct., 2019, Ciena completed the upgrade of IMEWE cable system, using Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai technology to deploy 200Gbps per wave on the majority of the IMEWE digital line section.


IMEWE Cable Route

TGN Eurasia Cable System is a submarine cable linking Mumbai directly to Paris, London and Madrid via Egypt.

Middle East North Africa (MENA) is a submarine communications cable system that is planned to connect Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and India. It will be about 8,000 kilometres long.It is planned to be capable of delivering up to 5.7 terabits per second.

The TEA (Transit Europe-Asia) is a terrestrial cable network between Europe and Asia via the territory of Russia, with its Russian segment running over Rostelecom's DWDM network. The Asian segment of the TEA terrestrial cable network may run over:

  • the territory of China via cross border interconnections between Rostelecom and its Chinese partners (China Telecom and China Unicom; or 
  • the territory of Japan via the Russia-Japan Submarine Cable Network (RJCN) constructed by Rostelecom and KDDI; or
  • terrestrial cable between Russia and Kazakhstan reaching Central Asia countries.

The TEA terrestrial cable network enables a short latency and stable solution for traffic transiting Europe and Asia.

The TEA terrestrial cable network is a meaningful alternative to the mainly US centric trans-Pacific cable systems in connecting internet networks between Europe and Asia. 

The GBI (Gulf Bridge International) is a private submarine cable system connecting the Gulf countries together and provide onward connectivity to the rest of the world.

The GBI Cable System is designed with a self-healing core ring in the Gulf, with double cable landings at the major terminals of Qatar and Fujairah (UAE) and branched landings in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Oman, and onward connectivity to landing in India and Europe as well.

The GBI Cable System is the first submarine cable landing in Iraq, with a cable landing station in Al Faw.

The GBI Cable System is privately owned by Gulf Bridge International, established in December 2008 with an initial investment of $445 million.

The GBI Cable System was launched in Feb. 2012, connecting the world to the Gulf.

Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) is a 25,000km submarine cable from South East Asia to Europe across Egypt, connecting Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia,Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.

The AAE-1 consortium signed the construction and maintenance agreement in Hong Kong on January 27, 2014, and launched the AAE-1 cable system for commerical service in June 2017.

The AAE-1 cable system is designed with 100Gbps technology, with a designed trunk capacity of more than 40 Tbps on 5 fiber pairs.

With diversified carrier neutral terminations at Telecom House in Hong Kong, Equinix SG3 and Global Switch in Singapore, and InterXion MRS1 in Marseille, France, AAE-1 is the unique robust, highcapacity low-latency bandwidth solution along the Eurasia corridor. 

AAE-1 Cable System Design

The SEA-ME-WE 5 (SMW5) is a 20,000km submarine cable system connecting 17 countries through Points-of-Presence (POPs) from Singapore to the Middle East to France and Italy in Western Europe, with an initial system design capacity of 24 Tbps over 3 fiber pairs.

The SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium consists of 15 leading telecom operators, including BSCCL, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, China Unicom, Du, Orange, Myanmar Post and Telecom, Telin, Saudi Telecom, SingTel, Sri Lanka Telecom, Telekom Malaysia, Telecom Italia Sparkle, TOT, and Telecom Yemen. The SMW5 consortium signed the construction and maintenace agreement on March 7, 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent and NEC were awarded the SMW5 supply contracts, Alcatel-Lucent supplied the segments from Sri Lanka to France, while NEC supplied the Singapore to Sri Lanka segment.

The SMW5 cable system was ready for service on December 13, 2016.

In August 2019, the SMW5 cable system completed an ungrade with Ciena's coherent 200G DWDM technology, increasing SMW5 system design capacity to 38Tbps.

SMW5 cable map

The Gulf to Africa (G2A) submarine cable system connects Salalah (Oman) to Bosaso (Puntland, Somalia) and Berbera (Somaliland, Somalia).  The G2A Consortium is formed by Omantel (Oman), Telesom (Somaliland, Somalia), Golis (Puntland, Somalia) and Ethio Telecom (Ethiopia).

Arctic Fibre is a three-phase submarine cable project, planned to connect Asia, Canada and Europe through the Arctic Ocean.

Phase 1 – Alaska is a 1200 mile submarine fiber optic cable main trunk line between Nome and Prudhoe Bay.

Phase 2 – Asia, is planned to extend the backbone cable from the Nome branching unit west to Asia, with options for additional branches into Alaska. Phase 2 will create an option for a diverse path out of the United States to Asia.

Phase 3 – Canada-United Kingdom, is intended to extend the subsea system east of the Prudhoe Bay, Alaska branching unit along the Lower Northwest Passage to Canada and on to the United Kingdom. Phase 3 will connect to Northern Canadian communities and will provide a secure low latency route from Europe to Asia, and a diverse route option out of North America to Europe.

The Phase 1 – Alaska has been launched for service since early December 2017.

Quintillion Subsea Holdings LLC (“Quintillion”) acquired the assets of Arctic Fibre  in May 2016.

Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) is 12,000 km long, privately owned cable system that provides an open, flexible and carrier-neutral services for its customers. 

The PEACE cable system is designed with the latest 200G transmission technology and WSS ROAMD BU technology, which provides the capability to transmit over 16Tbps per fiber pair servicing growing regional capacity needs.

This PEACE cable system will substantially reduce network latency by adopting shortest direct route connectivity, providing cost-effective capacity in an economically growing region and enhancing route diversity between Asia, Africa and Europe.

PEACE is privately owned and invested by PEACE CABLE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK CO., LIMITED, a subsidiary of China-based HENGTONG Group and supplied by Huawei Marine. PEACE is targeted for completion in Q1, 2020.

PEACE Cable route

The IOX Cable System spans about 8,850 km,connects Mauritius and Rodrigues to the East Coast of South Africa on one side and the East Coast of India on the other. The IOX Cable System consists of 4 fiber pairs in its trunk, with design capacity of 13.5 Tbps per fiber pair and 54 Tbps for the whole system. The IOX Cable system will reinforce Mauritius as a hub in sub-Saharan Africa.

The IOX Cable System will be the first open cable system in the region and is targeted to be completed in 2019.

The Mauritius and Rodrigues Submarine Cable System (MARS) is a 700km undersea cable connecting the Indian Ocean Islands of Rodrigues and Mauritiuswith, with a bandwidth design capacity of 16Tbit/s. The MARS cable system is built by PCCW Global, Mauritius Telecom and Huawei Marine.

The MARS cable system is expected to ready for service in 2019.

The Africa-1 submarine cable system spans 20,000km, linking South Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and Europe.

The Africa-1 cable will land at Sidi-Krir and Zaafarana in Egypt, Port Sudan in Sudan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Djibouti City in Djibouti, Mogadishu in Somalia, Mombasa in Kenya, Mayotte, Mahajanga in Madagascar, Fujairah in the UAE, and Karachi in Pakistan, with carrier-neutral points of presence (PoPs) in Marseille (France), Mombasa (Kenya) and Durban (South Africa).

The Africa-1 consortium comprises 13 members: 4 global telco carriers - Airtel, PCCW Global, BICS and China Telecom, 5 African telco carriers - MTN Group (South Africa), Mauritius Telecom (Mauritius), Telecom Egypt (Egypt), Sudatel (Sudan), Zain Sudan and Telma (Telecom Malagasy from Madagascar), 3 telco carriers from Middle East - Etisalat (UAE), STC (Saudi) and PTCL (Pakistan) and 1 non-telecom member Al Asab Trading Company. 

The Africa-1 consortium signed the Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) on 11 December 2018 in Dubai.


The Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1(DARE1) submarine cable system connects Djibouti (Djibouti), Bosaso (Somalia), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Mombasa (Kenya). With a finalized route length of 4,854km, DARE1 cable system delivers up to 36 Tbps of capacity to East Africa.

The DARE1 cable system is designed with a three-fibre-pair trunk, with each fibre pair delivering capacity of 40 channels at 300 Gbps.  The Bosaso branch of the DARE1 cable is of 108 km and two fiber pairs.

The DARE1 consortium is currently composed of Djibouti Telecom, Somtel and Telkom Kenya.

The initial investment cost of the DARE1 cable system is about US$86million.

The DARE1 cable system is supplied by SubCom. The DARE1 project is progressing on schedule and the system is on track to be ready for commercial traffic in June 2020.

DARE1 Cable Map
DARE1 Cable Map,                  Source: SubCom

The India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) will connect Mumbai to Europe and interconnect to the east coast of the US.

The IEX cable is built by Reliance Jio Infocomm and is expected to be operational in early 2023.