According to NEC news today, the supply contract for the AAE-1 Hong Kong extension has come into force as of October 8, 2014. NEC Corporation was awarded of the contract earlier in this year to supply AAE-1 S1H segment, i.e. AAE-1 Hong Kong extension representing the Thailand-Vietnam- Hong Kong section of the AAE-1 cable network. With this milestone achievement, the AAE-1 consortium has proceed ahead for the implementation of the whole AAE-1 cable system, as the AAE-1 C&MA and supply contract with TE SubCom for the other segments of the AAE-1 cable system have come into force earlier as of April 15, 2014.

The AAE-1 consortium signed the AAE-1 C&MA in Hong Kong on January 27, 2014, to construct the Asia-Africa-Eruope 1 submarine cable system which stretches approximately 25,000 km to link all major South East Asian nations to Africa and Europe via the Middle East, landing in Hong Kong China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France and other destinations in consideration.

AAE-1 Cable Map

The AAE-1 will employ 100 Gbps technology, with wavelength add/drop branching units along the lowest-latency route, as well as cross-sectional capacity to a minimum of 80x100 Gbps in each trunk fiber pair. The AAE-1 submarine cable system is scheduled to be ready for service in 2016 as the first 100Gbps per wavelength high-capacity intercontinental submarine cable in the route.

The overall AAE-1 cable project is progressing on schedule, with implementation works underway for the Europe-Asia segment – following award of a supply contract to TE SubCom earlier in the year – together with marine survey activity in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

The AAE-1 consortium will work with NEC to ensure AAE-1's Thailand-Hong Kong segment is ready for service (RFS) at the same time as the Europe-Asia segment. This is yet further demonstration of a commitment to providing superior connectivity on the Europe-Middle East-Asia route, with increased diversity of connectivity to major telecoms hubs in Hong Kong via a terrestrial link across Thailand.

AAE-1 Management Committee Chairman, Troy Li of China Unicom said: "We are proud to be part of a cable system initiative that will provide additional empowerment for the economies of all the nations along its route. The project will also serve consortium members' business interests in the Asia-Africa trade corridor and their plans to deliver services into Africa and on to the Middle East. Another good reason for pursuing this game-changing venture is that infrastructure is becoming critical to the accelerating evolution of global data movement."

NEC's Naoki Yoshida, General Manager of the Submarine Network Division, said: "NEC is very proud to have been selected as supplier for the Hong Kong extension of the AAE-1 submarine cable. We believe our latest 100 Gbps transmission and OADM technologies have once again been recognized, together with our solid track record in the South East Asia region."

He added: "Backed by more than 40 years of experience in constructing some 200,000 kilometers of submarine cable infrastructure, this advanced system enables NEC to capitalize on its expertise and contribute to worldwide communications. NEC is impressed by the level of commitment from members of the AAE-1 consortium. Similarly, we are committed to our role in the project, which we will demonstrate by delivering best-in-class system design and implementation, ready for service in 2016. NEC will work closely with various AAE-1 parties, and mobilize all resources necessary to support the project as a priority."