Asian Bandwidth Boom Boosted By BBG Cable
Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded the contract to design and build a new high-capacity submarine cable system connecting Asia with the Middle East. W ith many of the regions' largest operators financing the project , it is clear that the new cable - the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) system - will play a key role in making more bandwidth available to serve anticipated growth in mobile data traffic volumes. It will therefore be an important supplement to the operators' ongoing investments in 3.5G/4G mobile broadband networks and services.
The BBG cable will have a total length of 8,000 route kilometres and will land in Barka (Oman), Fujairah (UAE), Mumbai and Chennai (India), Ratmalana (Sri Lanka), Penang (Malaysia) and Singapore. Operating at 100Gbps, the cable will interconnect with existing systems in the region as well as cables connecting to Europe, Africa and Far East Asia. Alcatel - Lucent - which has not confirmed the value of the turnkey contract - says that the BBG cable will be operational before the end of 2014.
The commissioning of the new cable comes in the wake of the launch of 3G and 4G networks across Asia and the Middle East and the growing realisation of fixed-line and mobile operators that the volume of data being consumed via smartphones, tablet and laptop computers will quickly overwhelm the capacity of their existing infrastructure. Furthermore, some of the key international cables they currently leverage may be owned by third party providers. Building their own shared system will also enable them to reduce expenses such as capacity rental and dictate their own wholesale and retail prices for bandwidth.
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