PCCW Global and Hengtong Group have signed a cooperation agreement to connect China to Europe and Africa via the Pakistan East Africa Cable Express (PEACE) undersea cable project, a new high-speed subsea cable system which is planned to go live in early 2020.
Earlier this week, Huawei Marine announced it had started the cable and material manufacturing stage of the project.
When complete, the 12,000km-long PEACE cable system – with an initial capacity of 16 Tbps per fiber pair – will offer the shortest routes from China to Europe and Africa, interconnecting three of the world’s most populous continents whilst at the same time dramatically reducing latency.
Traditionally underserved, Africa has the fastest-growing youth population in the world and is a market particularly ripe for investment because of the rapidly growing number of Internet users and increasing demand for connectivity to, and across, Africa.
The backbone of the project will connect Pakistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya and France, providing critical interconnections to key Asia, Europe, and Africa economic corridors, while other routes and connection agreements will stretch to South Africa, with planned landing points en route.
PCCW Global and Hengtong will cooperate to steer the overall project. PCCW Global will manage the commercial side of the cooperation and is responsible for all capacity services and landing party arrangements, in addition to bundling capacity on the new submarine cable with existing network products and services.
PCCW Global says new technologies are being deployed in the construction phase of the project that will enable each country’s bandwidth allocation to be modified during the lifetime of the cable. Once the cable is live, individual cable stakeholders will have the ability to design the network to their own specifications, without impacting others using the same cable system.
The carrier also said the PEACE cable project also paves the way for PCCW Global and Hengtong to collaborate on other regional connectivity projects as well as the establishment of smart cities across multiple continents.