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New submarine cable system connects Singapore and Vietnam, starting in 2027

By Liu Hongzuo - on 15 Apr 2024, 1:51pm

New submarine cable system connects Singapore and Vietnam, starting in 2027

(Seated, L to R): Mr Nguyen Manh Ho (Viettel) and Mr Ooi Seng Keat (Singtel).

Singapore telco Singtel and Vietnam’s Viettel Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They plan to jointly develop a Vietnam to Singapore submarine cable system (VTS cable) to create a direct Internet connection between both destinations.

As outlined in the MoU, both parties agree to use the latest technology to develop the VTS cable. This includes eight fibre pairs (8FP) and wavelength division multiplexing technology.

Viettel and Singtel will manage the main trunk landing stations in their respective territories, Vietnam and Singapore. Additionally, the VTS cable will have branch landing stations in Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The MoU said this submarine cable system should begin operations by Q2 2027, with no specified completion date. The VTS cable would be the shortest cable directly connecting Vietnam and Singapore, improving the redundancy and security of Vietnam’s international connection infrastructure. 

The system also fits into Vietnam’s larger goal of developing its international optical cable system by 2030 (with a vision to 2035). Vietnam's national digital strategy requires a minimum of 15 systems with a total capacity of 334 terabytes per second (Tbps), with at least two operational submarine cables founded by Vietnam. Priority of these cables is given to direct connections to major “digital hubs of Asia” (including Singapore), with its general deployment in three directions: towards the North of the East Sea, the South of the East Sea, and the Southern Sea areas.

The signing ceremony was represented by Nguyen Manh Ho, General Director of Viettel Solutions, and Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Digital Infrastructure & Services of Singtel.

The previous major submarine cable investment by Singapore was the SEA-ME-WE 6 cable that connects Singapore and Europe using a 19,200 km-long system across several countries along the way, bringing speeds of 100Tbps on this digital highway.

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