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Telekom Malaysia in 'Bay of Bengal' submarine cable consortium

AvantiKumar | May 7, 2013
Six telcos undertake to extend the region's connectivity and network diversity.

signing Bay of Bengal Gateway modified 

Photo - (From left) Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited; Sohail Qadir, Vice President, Omantel; DatukBazlan Osman, Group Chief Financial Officer, TM; Rozaimy Rahman, Executive Vice President, Global & Wholesale, TM; Rick Perry, Head of International Development, Vodafone Group Technology, Vodafone; Ali Al-Amiri, Executive Vice President, Etisalat; and Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata.


Telekom Malaysia (TM) has joined five other telcos to form a consortium to develop the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system in a bid to enhance connectivity diversity and efficiency levels in the region.

TM and five  other regional telco players, comprising Vodafone Group, UAE's Etisalat, Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata, India's Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, and Omantel of Oman,  formed a consortium for the establishment of the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) submarine cable system.

TM's group chief financial officer, Datuk Bazlan Osman, said: "This initiative undertaken by the consortium is part of the six partners' continued commitment to invest in the development of IP communications globally and to extend broadband connectivity to a wider audience."

"The additional capacity will help to better prepare and mitigate any potential future congestion we may face," said Bazalan. "TM, alongside Vodafone Group, are honoured to take the lead in this endeavour and it definitely puts us in good stead moving forward. I believe there will be many other new opportunities that will arise from this newly inked alliance."

"Closer to home, the collaboration to establish BBG today marks yet another commitment from TM in providing faster and resilient Internet connection, hence a better surfing experience for Internet users," he said. "As the nation's leading telecommunications provider, TM continues to play its integral role in fulfilling the Government's aspiration of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that is 'Extending the Regional Network' as this cable system will enable us to provide Malaysians with better regional reach and a highly dependable regional network."

The BBG cable system is designed to provide upgradeable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology. This cable system is expected to carry commercial traffic by end of 2014.

 Interconnections to South Asia and the Middle East

Bazlan said the submarine cable system, which was initiated and spearheaded by TM and the Vodafone Group (Vodafone), will link Malaysia (through Penang) and Singapore to the Middle East (Oman and United Arab Emirates) with connections reaching out to India (Mumbai and Chennai) and Sri Lanka.

"The construction of BBG is planned not only to provide connectivity between South East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, but also to Europe and Africa through interconnections with other existing and newly built cable systems landing in India and the Middle East, he said.

BBG will also serve as an extraordinary opportunity for business growth as it will help supporting current and future high capacity requirements from the surrounding areas of the region as well as next generation Internet applications, he added.

With a total distance spanning approximately 8,000 km, BBG is set to provide an alternative route to Europe for TM's IP traffic. This diversity is essential especially in the earthquake prone zones in the Pacific Ocean Region and will also complement the other cable systems that TM are latched on to.


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