The SEA-H2X Consortium, comprised of China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Unicom Global (CUG) , Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc. (Converge) and PPTEL SEA H2X Sdn. Bhd (PPTEL SEA-H2X), officially announced and reaffirmed today their partnership to construct and operate the South East Asia Hainan - Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X), a new submarine cable system that will connect Hong Kong SAR China, Hainan China, Philippines, Thailand, East Malaysia and Singapore, with options to extend to Vietnam, Cambodia, West Malaysia and Indonesia.
The SEA-H2X Consortium has appointed HMN Technologies Co., Limited (HMN Tech) to build the cable in a fully funded project which will greatly enhance intra-Asian connectivity. The Construction and Maintenance Agreement (C&MA) and Supply Contract with HMN Tech was effective on March 4, 2022. The parties announced today that the Supply Contract has come into force.
At approximately 5,000 kilometers in length, the SEA-H2X cable will consist of at least 8-fiber pairs between Hong Kong SAR and Singapore, with a design capacity of 160 terabits per second (Tbps) to meet the growing bandwidth requirement in the region. The System is targeted to be ready-for-service in 2024 which help businesses and consumers benefit from increasing digital ties.
Employing state-of-the-art optical submarine transmission equipment, this high-performance submarine cable’s completion will provide the needed additional bandwidth within the region and network diversity. The construction of SEA-H2X will respond to the high broadband (Internet) demand between Hong Kong SAR and Southeast Asia countries by providing needed capacity and faster transmission, and in preparation for the coming 5G era.
The SEA-H2X cable will be implemented by HMN Tech from the design, manufacturing and deployment of the system. Employing an open system model, SEA-H2X has the flexibility to choose best-in-breed Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) from third-party vendors at a later date. HMN Tech’s advanced Branching Unit (BU) and Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) will benefit SEA-H2X in providing the ultimate flexibility of electrical power and optical fiber switches across multiple locations.
Notably, the SEA-H2X cable will connect Hainan (China), Kuching (Sarawak, Malaysia) and La Union (the Philippines), in addition to its trunk connecting the Hong Kong-Singapore corridor.
The SEA-H2X cable system will offer a diverse subsea cable connections to the Hainan Free Trade Zone, in addition to current Hainan to Hong Kong Express (H2HE) privately owned by China Mobile.
Converge, the fastest-growing fixed broadband service provider in the Philippines, has its first membership in an international subsea cable consortium to land the SEA-H2X cable in La Union. Converge has acquired fiber pair in the Bifrost subsea cable connecting Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States. Additionally, Converge is also involving in multiple subsea cable projects.
PPTEL SEA-H2X, a subsidiary of Sarawak-based PP Telecommunication Sdn. Bhd. (PPTEL), will land the SEA-H2X cable to its newly built Tier IV carrier neutral Cable Landing Station & Data Centre in Santubong, Kuching, Sarawak. PPTEL operates a private international subsea cable connecting Sarawak to Singapore, the Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS). PPTEL is also constructing the Sarawak International Internet Gateway (SIIG). Sarawak is positioned to be the main Telecommunications Gateway for Borneo Island to connect directly to the regional telecommunication hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore.