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Consortium starts deployment of SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system.

SLT’s partnership is a giant step towards achieving SMART Sri Lanka in 2020

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC. (SLT) – The country’s ICT giant – proudly announced that the new South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe (SEA-ME-WE 5) submarine cable system, a multi-regional superhighway enters the operational implementation phase after the “coming into force” fulfilments that have totally been met. The contractors, Alcatel Submarine Networks and NEC have started all operational activities in order to achieve the ready-for-service stage for the 20,000 kilometre international submarine system by the second half of 2016.

SEA-ME-WE 5 will now enter its execution stage as it relies on strong commitment and large upfront funding from its consortium members. Devised with the latest 100Gbps technology and boasting a design capacity - of at least 24 Terabyte per second on 3-fibre pairs, SEA-ME-WE 5 is a multi-regional superhighway that will provide the lowest latency and represent an additional network layer of diversity and resilience for the heavy loaded Asia to Europe route.

In participation with 14 global players, SEA-ME-WE 5 will connect 17 countries from Singapore to Europe (Italy and France) and traverse Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Yemen, Djibouti, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium members at this particular point of time include Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Telecom Global Limited (CTG), China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (China Unicom), Djibouti Telecom SA (Djibouti Telecom), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), Orange, Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS).

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Telecom, Mr. Lalith De Silva commenting on the project partnership and investment said, “We all believe, ICT is the key for a better future, and will create empowered Sri Lankan citizens who are able to conquer the world for our country. SLT being the national ICT solutions provider with over 150 years of service, strongly believes that obviously this kind of global connectivity with very high capacity will improve the quality of life of all citizens of the country. The gigantic capacity derived through this new cable system would facilitate the exponential growth in demand for data both locally and internationally and thereby would enable Sri Lanka to leverage on its strategic geographical location in developing the regional hubs as envisioned by GoSL. As we are always passionate about empowering the nation with endless possibilities and unlimited opportunities, it will definitely accelerate the move towards an inclusive digital economy and a SMART Sri Lanka.”

According to the company's strategic objectives, investment in global connectivity is a key strategy devised to support the national objective of making Sri Lanka the Digital Hub of the region. SLT has partnered with SEA-ME-WE consortiums right from the inception and currently SLT connects globally via SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 4 and two other private cables to India and Maldives. With SLT’s investment in the new SEA-ME-WE 5 cable, the country’s global connectivity capacity will move to the next level - with Terabits of capacity; making Sri Lanka and SLT “future ready” to take on the envisaged data explosion. Sri Lanka being offered “full landing” status by SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium will pave the way to establish a global POP in Sri Lanka in the future. Furthermore, the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable station that is being established in Matara facilitates double landing; thereby enhancing the reliability of Sri Lanka’s connectivity to the system. With these global connectivity advancements, Sri Lanka will be the most preferred destination in the region for BPO or Data Center operations.

SLT’s Global connectivity roadmap

1993 - Sri Lanka connected with SEA-ME-WE I analogue submarine cable.

1994 - Sri Lanka connected with SEA-ME-WE II digital fibre optic submarine cable.

1999 - Sri Lanka connected with SEA-ME-WE III digital fibre optic submarine cable.

2006 - SLT officially inaugurated local operations of landmark SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable system.

2006 - SLT and BSNL launched Bharat-Lanka Submarine Cable System between India and Sri Lanka.

2006 - SLT inaugurates Dhiraagu-SLT submarine cable system between Maldives and Sri Lanka

2014 - SLT partners 15 global telcos to connect continents via SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system.

2014 – SEA-ME-WE 4 cable system to upgrade with 100Gbps technologies

2016 - Sri Lanka to be connected with 100Gbps SEA-ME-WE 5 digital fibre optic submarine cable system.