Hong Kong, January 31, 2011 - The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) today welcomes the announcement that NTT Com Asia Limited plans to land a new submarine cable system in Hong Kong.

The new submarine cable system, named the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), will be constructed by multiple-operators with NTT Com Asia Limited as the landing party in Hong Kong.  The ASE will connect Hong Kong with Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines by the end of 2012.  Mainland China and additional Southeast Asian countries may be connected in subsequent phases.

ASE Cable Route Map

The ASE cable system, with a designed capacity of 15 terabits per second (Tbps) and at an estimated construction cost of HK$3.35 billion, is expected to be landed in Hong Kong by December 2012.

"The ASE will be the tenth submarine cable system landing in Hong Kong, and will further strengthen our position as the telecommunications and Internet hub in the Asia Pacific region. It will provide us with additional external capacity and enhance our overall network redundancy. These will work to strengthen our resilience against natural disasters, such as earthquakes and typhoons, which may disrupt our external telecommunications services," a spokesperson for OFTA said.

As one of the items included in the 2009-2010 Policy Agenda, OFTA has since April 2010 introduced measures to make it more efficient and user-friendly for interested parties to land new submarine cable systems in Hong Kong.  We are pleased to note that these measures, including the launch of a thematic web portal on the subject and OFTA providing a single point of contact service, are well-received by the industry and have helped attract the landing of the ASE here.

"OFTA will set up an ad-hoc working group with other relevant government departments and organizations to ensure that applications for the necessary statutory approvals related to the landing of the ASE cable system will be processed in a timely and co-ordinated manner," the spokesperson said.