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Telstra and TPN team up on the Echo subsea cable

Telstra International and Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) have partnered on the Echo cable, the first subsea cable to directly connect the US to Singapore.

Gigi Onag

January 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Subsea cable on the ocean floor
Source: Sybille Reuter/Alamy Stock Photo

Telstra International and Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) have partnered on the Echo cable, the first subsea cable to directly connect the US to Singapore, creating a new route in the Trans-Pacific.

The Echo subsea system links California, Jakarta, Singapore, and Guam. The system delivers low latency, high-speed, resilient network infrastructure connecting South Asia to the US.

Telstra said the geographical area the new cable would be built in was one of the more challenging regions globally in terms of regulation as well as subsea cable cuts.

“Our subsea network scale makes Telstra uniquely placed to successfully navigate the complexity of these environments to ensure the stability of the world’s digital connectivity,” said Roary Stasko, CEO Telstra International.

Under the partnership, Telstra will become TPN’s operating partner for the Echo cable system. The Australian-based telco operator will also deliver cable landing station services for Echo in Singapore and the Network Operations Center services.

Telstra has also partnered with XL Axiata, which is landing the cable in Tanjung Pakis, to deliver services in Indonesia.

Partially funded by the US International Development Finance Corporation, the first Echo segments (Guam-US) will launch in mid-2024, with the remaining segments in 2025.

Related:Google to build two more subsea cables in Pacific Islands

"The Echo subsea cable system will be a critical element of the Indo-Pacific’s digital infrastructure, ultimately strengthening networks and increasing capacity while reducing internet costs in the region,” said Aaron Knapik, CFO, TPN.

Growing demand for bandwidth

According to Telegeography, demand for bandwidth in the Trans-Pacific is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world, with forecasts showing it will increase by 39% year on year until 2029.

''The Trans-Pacific is a critical connection point to reach the US, and the geography of these regions means they will rely on new submarine cable routes like Echo for international connectivity," said Stasko.

Stasko added that Telstra recently added 3 Tbit/s of capacity through the SEA-US cable connecting US mainland to Hawaii, Guam and Philippines, "which complements our existing Trans-Pacific cables like AAG, Unity, Faster, NCP and Jupiter''.

Telstra's partnership with Echo is its latest move to expand its capacity in the Pacific region. Last week, Telstra joined Google on another subsea cable project, along with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) and APTelecom, to build two intra-Pacific cables connecting Guam, Fiji and French Polynesia.


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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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