Pacnet to Land New Cable System into India

by CXOtoday Staff    Dec 09, 2009

Pacnet will be making its largest investment into growing its presence in India by building a new submarine cable network that will provide direct connectivity between India and Asia. The network, which has been named the ‘West Asia Crossing’ (WAC) will address the country’s growing requirements for international bandwidth. This will be the first system deployed between the east coast of India and Singapore since 2005.

The submarine cable network will be a joint approach, where each member of the partnership operates independently while benefiting from the economies of scale of the project. Pacnet is currently in talks with potential partners and also considering to fund the entire project.

The planned WAC cable system will have a design capacity of 6 to 8 Tbps. It will connect India, through a landing station in Chennai, to both Malaysia and Singapore. By offering dual landing points in South East Asia, this will provide added protection from cable failure. The system is also designed to be capable of extending connectivity into Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through separate branching units, as well as the possibility of a second cable landing point in Mumbai to offer additional capacity to cables landing off the west coast of India.

"An ongoing concern for customers and service providers in India is the current cost of international bandwidth, which despite recent cost reductions in the market, still remains high by international standards," said Bill Barney, CEO, Pacnet. To address this concern and help reduce the cost of connectivity, Barney said Pacnet plans to build a cable system (WAC) that will connect their existing pan-Asian EAC-C2C cable system to India.

India is a major hub for international submarine cables, linking Europe and the Middle East with Asia. TeleGeography Research expects demand of international bandwidth to India to grow at a CAGR of 83 percent between 2009 and 2015. Four new cables are also going to be installed between the west coast of India and the Middle East. But Pacnet’s new India-Singapore cable will be the first system deployed between the east coast of India and Singapore since 2005.

The new WAC cable is expected to cost an estimated U.S. $150 million and will take approximately two years to construct, with a ready-for-service (RFS) date targeted around early 2012.