January 30, 2024 - Indonesia's Telin, KT of South Korea and an unnamed Japanese partner have agreed to build a new subsea cable system that will connect South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries in the area.
Dubbed the ALPHA (Asia Link for Advanced Performance of High-Speed Access) cable system, it will have at least eight fiber pairs with each pair designed to carry 18 Tbits/s of capacity.
The memorandum of understanding for the ALPHA project was signed by Telin CEO Budi Satria Dharma Purba and KT's senior vice president, Jehoon Myung. The companies said they expect to finalize plans for the project this year, such as determining the next-generation technology and optimal route for the system.
The ALPHA cable system is expected to be ready for service by the first quarter of 2027.
"The construction of ALPHA cable by KT serves as a major stepping stone to promptly address the rapidly increasing demand for cloud, big data, and AI traffic within the fast-growing Asian region for enterprise customers," said Myung.
He added that it will also continue to expand its influence in the Asian submarine cable market "by strengthening partnerships with like-minded global companies."
KT and Telin both identified explosive growth in internet traffic across the region as the major driver for the construction of the new intra-Asia cable that connects the East and Southeast Asian regions – adding that the biggest traffic concentration is now in the Asia-Pacific.
Citing figures from 451 Research, the companies said that data center capacity across Malaysia, Indonesia and India is expected to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 10%-25% over the next five years. These countries share several advantages, including a growing online presence, locally tailored content and a young demographic.
Putting Indonesia on the global subsea cable map
With its partnership with KT on the ALPHA cable system, Telin hopes to make Indonesia the center of intra-Asia connectivity.
"This subsea cable initiative demonstrates our commitment in advancing digital connectivity in Indonesia. Our focus is on delivering ultra-low latency, unique routes and direct data center-to-data center access, marking a significant stride towards shaping the future of digital connectivity in the region," said Purba.
The ALPHA cable system is the latest initiative in Telin's bid to put Indonesia on the global subsea cable map. In September last year, Telin announced Indonesia Cable Express, an ambitious project to build seven integrated cable systems, the first of which will connect Malaysia, Singapore and Batam.
"Through this [ALPHA] collaboration, we shall be able to quickly initiate the seven new subsea systems to make Indonesia waters the hub for the subsea system," said Purba.
At the core of Telin's global expansion is its vast submarine cable network that spans 250,140km and connects Indonesia to the world.
Telin, a subsidiary of Telkom Indonesia, is an active member of multiple submarine cable consortiums, including Thailand-Indonesia-Singapore (TIS), two routes of Batam-Singapore (BSCS), Dumai-Melaka (DMCS), Asia-America Gateway (AAG), Southeast Asia-Japan (SJC), Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) and Indonesia Global Gateway (IGG).
These connections link major Indonesian cities with key destinations across Asia, Europe and the US. The IGG, in particular, provides an express link between the SEA-ME-WE 5 and SEA-US cable systems.
Furthermore, the company operates and holds rights of use for fiber optic infrastructure totaling 134,040km through long-term telecommunication lease agreements with global submarine cable operators and consortiums.
In 2020, Telin along with Southeast Asia-Japan Cable 2 (SJC2) consortium started the deployment of 10,500km of submarine cable that would run from Singapore to Japan, with additional branches running to South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the southern tip of Thailand.