PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Chinese technology and industrial giant, the 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 connection which is planned to go live in early 2020.
When complete, the high-speed PEACE cable system 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, delivering a superior connectivity experience which will be ideal for a vast array of commercial and consumer applications.
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 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. Another PEACE collaborator, Huawei Marine, is already engaged with the construction of a primary segment of the 12,000km-long PEACE cable. PCCW Global is the manager of 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.
Innovative new technologies are being deployed in the construction phase of the project which 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 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.
Mr. Sameh Sobhy, Vice President, Middle East & North Africa, PCCW Global, said, “We are proud that two such reputable industry leaders – HENGTONG Group and Huawei Marine – have entrusted us and our expertise in cable planning and management to be the commercial channel for the PEACE project.”
Mr. Sun Xiaohua, Vice President, HENGTONG Marine, a subsidiary of HENGTONG Group, said, “We see the PEACE project as a strategic pivot for the HENGTONG Group to grow from our experience as a subsea cable investor and look forward to identifying new investing opportunities in this market in the future. We are extremely proud to have appointed PCCW Global and Huawei Marine as key collaborators in this project and to achieve a more effective approach for the investment. It is the power of this cooperation that is spearheading the deployment and commercialization of better connectivity between Europe, Asia and Africa.”