Asia-America Gateway consortium signed on June 1, 2006 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to plan and develop a proposal to build an international undersea cable system linking South East Asia with the United States of America (USA).

The AAG consortium includes AiTi of Brunei Darussalam, CAT Telecom (Thailand), PLDT (Philippines), REACH (Hong Kong), StarHub (Singapore), Telekom Malaysia (Malaysia) and VNPT (Vietnam).  The proposed undersea cable system will be called the Asia-America Gateway and it will route between Malaysia and the USA via Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii, with branches into Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam and Vietnam. The proposed Asia-America Gateway will provide much needed direct access and diverse routing between South East Asia and the USA and will have advantages over the traditional trans-Pacific routes (via the North Pacific) in that it will avoid some of the areas most prone to seismic activity, conditions which are hazardous to undersea cables.

The AAG cable system will span 20,000km and will use the latest Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technologies with a minimum design capacity of 1.28 terabit/s.  It is planned to be ready for service in 2008.

“We are delighted with the signing of the MOU which marks the first step in the development of the proposed Asia-America Gateway.  This cable system is designed to support the burgeoning demand for voice, IP/data and video traffic between South East Asia and the USA,” said Dato Abdul Wahid Omar, Group CEO, TM.

The proposed Asia-America Gateway cable system has the potential, as a gateway, to extend capacity to other locations in North East and South East Asia, India, Australia, Africa and Europe, as it is designed to provide a high degree of inter-connectivity with existing and planned high bandwidth systems.