Multinet Pakistan Private Limited, a regionally renowned data and voice communication provider, and Omantel, one of the leading national operators of Oman and biggest wholesale carriers in the Middle East has today announced the signed agreement with Xtera Communications Incorporation to supply new submarine cable system SRG-1 (Silk Route Gateway). This new subsea cable system will be a direct channel of communication from Muscat, Oman to Karachi, Pakistan. It will be further extended to Gawadar in near future.
Commenting on this initiative, Rashid Shafi Chief Strategy Officer Multinet Pakistan said, “The SRG-1 project is our ambition to restore the significance of the traditional silk route by establishing a digital gateway to the most budding telecom markets of the Asian subcontinent. This new cable will fuel the massively growing demands of the Pakistani market and will bring up an unprecedented reach to China, Afghanistan and Central Asia.”
This mega project has been assigned to Xetra, one of the leading providers of the cost effective and high capacity optical transport solutions. It will provide its turnkey 100G/100G+ optimized subsea system solution for this project including Nu-Wave Optima Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE), undersea branching units, optical repeaters, project management, installation and almost all other marine services.
Talking to the media, Vice President Omantel Wholesale Sohail Qadir said, “SRG-1 is another reflection of our commitment to the global carrier community to offer them with the most efficient routes. The SRG-1 bridges Asia to Africa and the West through a low latency network, and we anticipate this to evolve as the telecom world’s primary access to the region.”
The SRG-1 cable system will offer Pakistan optimal connection to East, West and Gulf regions through the 15 major global submarine cable systems landing in Oman.
The new SRG 1 will be a 900KM long subsea cable with two fiber pairs system each having 10Tbps capacity. According to the news section of Multinet, SRG1 will be operational in next eighteen months. The overall cost will be $24 million. After the completion of installation of SRG 1, Pakistan will get 200Gps of additional bandwidth with the upgradation to 20Tbps subject to market demand.
It seems this new subsea cable system is going to end the duopoly of PTCL and Tw1 in Pakistan. 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, four undersea telecommunications cables are being deployed by Pakistan. Three cables SMW3, SMW4, and IMWEW, are being operated by PTCL while one TWA-1 is being operated by Transworld Associates.