Telstra announced on Jan. 22nd at the PTC conference in Hawaii that it had entered into agreements to invest in two new international subsea cable systems, Hong Kong Americas (HKA) and Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), both to deliver straight connection between Hong Kong and Los Angeles of the United States. The HKA cable is expected to be completed in 2020 and PLCN in 2019.

Telstra has participated in the HKA consortium and invested in a half fibre pair out of the six fiber pairs in the HKA cable system. Once completed, the HKA cable will help meet the increasing demand for connectivity between Greater China, ASEAN and the US.

Telstra also announced it had invested in capacity on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) that will also connect Hong Kong and the US. The investment will be the equivalent of 6 Terabits per second (TBps), a quarter (1/4) fiber pair.

According to PLDC's product portfolios announced at PTC2018, PLCN delivers products of full fiber pair, half fiber pair, quarter fiber pair, spectrum, etc. 

Both HKA and PLCN deliver straight connection between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, offer lower latency between the US and Asia than the current Asia-America Gateway (AAG) on which Telstra operates the most active capacity today. For connectivity between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, HKA and PLCN routes are expected to be 20ms shorter than that of AAG.

David Burns, Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Global Services and International, said the investments reinforce Telstra’s network leadership in the Asia Pacific region and represent a significant boost for connectivity between the United States and Asia.

“As economic growth continues in China and South East Asia, so too does the demand for data. Together with the current AAG cable on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong to US route, one of the fastest growing routes in the world for capacity demand,” said Mr Burns.

“Our investment in capacity on PLCN and HKA will also provide our customers with greater resiliency due to bypassing areas prone to natural disasters and offering two direct, alternative paths to the AAG cable which connects South East Asia to the US west coast via Hong Kong, Guam and Hawaii.”

“We will continue to invest to maintain our network leadership and support our international growth. This includes a commitment to investing in additional capacity on the Australia to US route,” added Mr Burns.

These investments follow the announcement in April last year that Telstra had entered into a consortium to build INDIGO, a new subsea cable system between Australia and South East Asia.