The installation of SEA-ME-WE 5 has been completed today. The SMW5 is a 20,000 KM submarine cable system that will increase the internet bandwidth capacity by 24Tbps. It will enhance the internet capacity by 4x then the existing one.
The SMW5 in Pakistan will maintain and managed by TWA Pakistan. This undersea cable has been constructed by a consortium of sixteen companies, and TWA is one of them. The construction starts from Singapore in the South East Asia and ends at Marseille in Western Europe. Before this 20,000 KM cable, TWA was using a 1,254 KM long TW-1 cable from Karachi to Oman and UAE.
The SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium consists of 15 leading telecom operators, including BSCCL, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, China Unicom, Du, Orange, Myanmar Post and Telecom, Telin, Saudi Telecom, SingTel, Sri Lanka Telecom, Telekom Malaysia, Telecom Italia Sparkle, TOT, and Telecom Yemen. The SMW5 consortium signed the construction and maintenance agreement on March 7, 2014.
Alcatel-Lucent and NEC were awarded the SMW5 supply contracts, Alcatel-Lucent will supply the segments from Sri Lanka to France, while NEC will supply the Singapore to Sri Lanka segment.
Internet service providers in the country are welcoming this initiative as it will improve the strategic positioning of the country in telecommunications and IT sector. This new submarine cable will provide the more resilience to Pakistan’s internet backbone connectivity.
Current status of undersea telecommunications cable:
Currently, five undersea telecommunications cables are being deployed by Pakistan. Three cables SMW3, SMW4, and IMWEW are being operated by PTCL while two TWA-1 and Sea-Me-We-5 are is being operated by Transworld Associates.
- TW1, capacity = 1.28Tbps
- Sea-Me-We-4, capacity = 1.28Tbps
- I-ME-WE, capacity = 3.86Tbps
- Sea-Me-We-5, capacity = 24Tbps
- Sea-Me-We-3, capacity = 2 x 480 Gbps capacity