Telstra International, the global division of the telecommunications and technology company Telstra, has partnered with Trans-Pacific Networks (TPN) to launch the Echo cable. For the first time, this new subsea cable will create a direct connection between the US and Singapore, forging an important new route in Trans-Pacific connectivity.
The subsea system of Echo is a singular express route that will connect California, Jakarta, Singapore, and Guam. This system is designed to cater to the swelling demand for data and the integral role of bandwidth in supporting rapidly growing technologies, such as AI, IoT and cloud computing. The system offers low latency, high-speed, resilient network infrastructure that directly connects South Asia and the US.
Sections of the Echo cable between Guam and the US will go live in mid-2024, with the remainder expected to launch in 2025. Telstra International will become TPN's operating partner to provide long-term stability on this efficient route. Telstra will also lend support by delivering services for the cable landing station in Singapore and the Network Operations Centre. XL Axiata will manage the cable's landing in Indonesia and partner in providing services within Indonesia itself.
Roary Stasko, CEO of Telstra International, commented that the area within which the new cable will be built is one of the world's most challenging regions in regulatory terms and with regard to subsea cable cuts. "Our subsea network scale makes Telstra International uniquely placed to successfully navigate the complexity of these environments to ensure the stability of the world's digital connectivity," Stasko stated.
Demand for bandwidth within the Trans-Pacific area is reportedly growing at one of the fastest rates globally, projected to increase by 39% annually until 2029. Owing to the digitalisation of daily life and the evolving nature of technologies like AI, IoT and cloud computing, bandwidth plays a critical role and is expected to surge even further as the necessity for reliable, low-latency connectivity continues to grow for businesses and individual users.
Trans-Pacific Networks expressed excitement for this initiative. Aaron Knapik, CFO of TPN, said, "TPN is thrilled to partner with industry leader Telstra to expand telecommunication access between the US and Asia."
He added that the Echo cable system, which will enjoy partial funding from the US International Development Finance Corporation, will play a critical role in strengthening the Indo-Pacific's digital infrastructure while increasing capacity and reducing internet costs within the region.
Roary Stasko further asserted the necessity of such projects for improving international connectivity due to the geographical needs of the surrounding regions. He said, "We're accelerating growth in our international digital infrastructure... The Echo cable system has the ability to allow other countries to take advantage of its redundancy." This will include a recent addition of 3Tbps of capacity through the SEA-US cable that connects the US mainland to Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines, thereby complementing existing Trans-Pacific cables, namely, AAG, UNITY, FASTER, NCP, and JUPITER.