SUBMARINE TELECOMS INDUSTRY REPORT – SECTION 8.4: AUSTRALASIA REGIONAL MARKET

Regional Snapshot

  • Current Systems: 61
  • Capacity: 660 Tbps
  • Planned Systems: 4
  • Planned Capacity: 22 Tbps
AustralAsia Systems

AustralAsia Systems

8.4.1 Current Systems

Table 9: AustralAsia Systems, 2014-Present
RFS YearSystemCapacity (Tbps)Length (kms)
2016APG5410400
2017ATISA7.2280
2017MCT301425
2017SKR1M63500
2017Tasman Global Access202300
2018ASC404600
2018Hawaiki6715000
2018SEAX-1250
2018Tui-Samoa81470
2019Indigo Central364850
2019Indigo West364600
2019NATITUA102500

The AustralAsia market has been characterized by a massive amount of growth in a relatively short amount of time. Since 2007, it has been one of the busiest regions in the entire world – though recently it has slowed down.

Figure 75 - Systems in Service - AustralAsia

Figure 75 – Systems in Service – AustralAsia

Growth from 2001 to 2005 was negligible, and while there was a moderate amount of activity in 2006, the real growth spurt occurred from 2008 to 2009. (Figure 75) The biggest factor contributing to growth in the region is emerging markets in Southeast Asia, with countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong being the recipients of new data center growth as mentioned in section 1.2.3 of this report.

The industry crash of the early 2000s certainly influenced the later timing of the region’s boom, but the rising markets of Southeast Asia and their ardent desire for international connectivity largely overrode such concerns. The widespread adoption of mobile and cloud services throughout the region combined with the recent surge of data center and OTT provider driven systems promises to sustain growth in the region for the foreseeable future. The region should continue to enjoy this steady growth for at least the next year as all four systems planned for 2020 are likely to be implemented.

It is important to note that at this time last year, eight systems were planned for the next two years in the AustralAsia region compared to only four systems for 2020 and none for 2021 and beyond. This reinforces the view that the AustralAsia region is beginning to slow down from its historically rapid growth.

8.4.2 Future Systems

Table 10: AustralAsia Planned Systems
RFS YearSystemCapacity (Tbps)Length (kms)
2020Coral Sea204700
2020HK-G483900
2020Manatua103600
2020SJC214410500

After the huge growth spurt from 2008 to 2009, the AustralAsia market has seen a steady amount of growth in the amount of cable added per year.

Figure 76 - KMS Added - AustralAsia

Figure 76 – KMS Added – AustralAsia

Since 2010, the region has seen an average of 9,000 kms added per year, with an average system length of 5,000 kilometers. The next year – 2020 – may be one of the last significant opportunities for growth in the region as there are currently no systems planned for 2021 and beyond. As submarine cable systems typically require a two-year development cycle from the time they are announced, it is unlikely many systems will be announced for 2021 by the end of this year. (Figure 76)

Figure 77 - Contract in Force – AustralAsia, 2020-2022

Figure 77 – Contract in Force – AustralAsia, 2020-2022

There are currently four planned systems set to be ready for service for the period 2020-2021. Two of these cables are relatively smaller projects, connecting island nations to major hubs while the other cables span large swathes of the region or are back by OTT providers. Of these planned systems, 75 percent are considered CIF. (Figure 77) This healthy CIF rate indicates that the growth rate for the region’s immediate future may be sustainable. However, considering how busy the industry in general is through 2020, some of these systems may be delayed due to supplier and installer availability constraints. The remaining system that is not yet CIF is an OTT backed system and will almost certainly be completed.