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About SEA-ME-WE 4
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The South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) project is the fourth project in the SEA-ME-WE series. On 27th March 2004, a consortium of 16 international telecommunications companies signed construction and maintenance agreements for the new optical fibre submarine cable system linking South East Asia to Europe via the Indian Sub-Continent and Middle East with Terminal Stations in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria and France. The contract is being awarded jointly to Alcatel Submarine Networks, France and Fujitsu Ltd., Japan and the estimated project cost is of the order of US$ 500 million.

The total length of the SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable system will span approximately 20,000 km which consists of the main backbone across the Eastern and Western worlds plus the extension links in various countries. The system is amongst the most economical cable systems in the region and will be built with state-of-the-art Terabit DWDM technology to achieve ultra fast terabit per second connectivity. The project will support telephone, internet, multimedia and various broadband data applications.

Currently, the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable system is fully functional and will continue to be operational during its expected lifespan. This cable will also support SEA-ME-WE 4 for restoration and vice versa. The target commissioning date for the SEA-ME-WE 4 project is set in the 3rd quarter 2005 and once the cable is fully operation, phased activations of capacity to meet growing bandwidth demand have been anticipated. A SEA-ME-WE 4 Management Committee has been set up to make decisions on issues concerning the project, such as whether it will be possible for new countries to be linked to the project in the future. The organization structure of the Management Committee is shown below.

The SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable will benefit hundreds of millions of people communicating along the route between Singapore, France and beyond. The construction of this cable system is testimony to the growing demand for high capacity broadband links that are essential in today’s world of high speed international connectivity and online business. Many developing markets are expected to see strong growth in the short term as efforts are made to improve and expand the broadband technology infrastructure.