5 mins

While it takes a little over five hours for us to fly between Perth and Singapore, data is transmitted under the ocean at close to the speed of light. Now, work is about to start on a new subsea cable that will further strengthen links between Australia and one of our largest trading partners – and beyond.

This new subsea cable system, called INDIGO, is being built by Telstra in partnership with Google, international telecommunications providers, Indosat Ooredoo and Singtel, and Australian telecommunications infrastructure providers AARNet and SubPartners. Once completed, it will have more capacity and more innovative features than the current cable that runs between Perth and Singapore.

With an ‘open cable’ design and spectrum sharing technology, each consortium member will have the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements throughout the life of the cable. This means we can better respond to the future needs of our customers, including increasing capacity if needed.

cable Infographic

INDIGO will have two fibre pairs, with each supporting a minimum capacity design of 18 terabits per second using coherent optical technology. This is around 40 times more capacity than the current cable that runs between Perth and Singapore. It’s also the equivalent of downloading 1,000 movies a second, or streaming millions of movies simultaneously. This will enable better connectivity for consumers and provide huge opportunities for business, particularly in the areas of e-commerce, education, research and innovation.

With internet data consumption growing at around 70 percent in Asia Pacific last year, the INDIGO cable will be a critical piece of infrastructure that will build on the more than 400,000km of subsea cables we already operate. This is the largest and most diverse network in the Asia Pacific region and the centrepiece of our global business – it underpins the services we provide other telcos and the OTT tech giants, and it is the core from which we add on top our value added services, like cloud and unified communications, for enterprise customers. We will continue to look for opportunities to build on this network leadership.

Work is expected to start soon on a marine route survey to ensure the cable will be laid using the most optimal route. Construction of the cable and other equipment will then commence, with the cable due to be completed by mid-2019.

Find out more about what’s involved in building a new subsea cable.


This post originally appeared on Telstra Exchange