TM clinches MCMC’s SKR1M submarine cable system contract

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 30): Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has clinched a contract to develop and construct a new submarine cable system known as Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, TM announced that the contract was awarded via open tender and would be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between MCMC and TM utilising the Universal Services Provision Fund (USP), which is under the purview of MCMC.

When contacted, a TM spokesperson said the value of the contract would be disclosed soon.

"SKR1M will serve to enhance the existing domestic submarine cable connectivity between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, thus catering for future bandwidth growth requirements.

"The new submarine cable system, which will span approximately 3,500km, will have an initial capacity of 4 Terabit per second (Tbps)," said TM in a press release.

It added that the establishment of the new submarine cable system is part of the government's initiatives to increase the capacity of high-speed broadband in the country, as outlined in Budget 2014 and 2015.

TM said the SKR1M cable system is designed to provide upgradeable and transmission facilities by adopting the state-of-the-art 100Gbps technology.

"This new submarine cable system is expected to start carrying commercial traffic by mid-2017," it said, adding that the huge bandwidth will improve user experience by minimising potential traffic congestion between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

It added that to date, TM's total design capacity of its international submarine cables stands at 30 Tbps and that it is sufficient to cater for future international bandwidth demand increase.

"This initiative represents another major step towards enhancing the national broadband connectivity within Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak," said TM group CEO, Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa.

TM said it is well experienced in the domestic, regional and global submarine cable development and investments, and currently owns more than 10 submarine cable systems that span more than 100,000 fiber-route miles around the globe.

These include several submarine cable routes that the company uses to carry traffic between the Asia Pacific and the North American regions.