PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, Chinese technology and industrial giant HENGTONG Group, and Telecom Egypt signed a historic landing party agreement during the One Belt, One Road summit in Beijing in April. This agreement will enable the Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) cable system to land and cross Egypt, effectively linking Asia, Africa and Europe with a 12,000km ultra-low latency high-speed cable system that will relieve critical congestion on one of the busiest data routes in the world.
Representing an important milestone in the PEACE cable system’s development roadmap, the trilateral agreement between Telecom Egypt, PCCW Global and HENGTONG provides for the system to cross Egypt through the new diversified terrestrial routes connecting Zafarana and Abu Talat, where new cutting-edge landing facilities have been constructed. PCCW Global and HENGTONG will cooperate in the PEACE Mediterranean undersea segment of the cable that will then link Egypt to Europe through a landing point in Marseille, France amongst other landing points in the Mediterranean Sea.
PEACE is a privately owned cable system connecting three of the largest and most populous continents in the world – Asia, Africa and Europe. Other cable systems, such as AAE-1 that was previously constructed by a consortium of carriers including PCCW Global, also connect similar regions. However, increased global demand for connectivity is resulting in congestion on the busy route. In addition, traditionally under-served, 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 a corresponding increased demand for connectivity.
When complete, the PEACE cable system will provide the shortest and most direct data route from North Asia to Europe, combined with exceptionally low latency, which is vitally important for a wide array of commercial and consumer applications.
The PEACE cable system features an innovative open system business model that provides for greater flexibility, as well as state-of-the-art branching unit technology that enables each country’s bandwidth allocation to be modified during the lifetime of the cable. Traditionally, once a cable is laid and sunk into the ocean, such bandwidth flexibility is not possible without overall service interruption as well as costly maintenance procedures.
In addition, the PEACE cable system deploys a "system within a system" configuration, allowing individual cable stakeholders the ability to design the network to their own specifications as required without impacting others using the same cable system.
Mr. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President, Innovation Planning & Procurement, PCCW Global, said, “The PEACE cable system connects the same regions and countries as the legendary Silk Road, and similar to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, will enhance cooperation and shared economic benefits in the exchange of goods, technology and ideas.”