SUBMARINE TELECOMS INDUSTRY REPORT – SECTION 8.6: INDIAN OCEAN PAN-EAST ASIAN REGIONAL MARKET

Regional Snapshot

  • Current Systems: 27
  • Capacity: 411 Tbps
  • Planned Systems: 5
  • Planned Capacity: 270 Tbps
Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian Systems

Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian Systems

8.6.1 Current Systems

Table 13: Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian Systems, 2010-Present
RFS Year System Capacity (Tbps) Length (kms)
2011 EIG 3.84 15000
2011 MACHO  –  –
2012 LION-2 1.28 3000
2012 SEAS   2000
2016 BBG 55 8040
2017 AAE-1 40 25000
2017 SEA-ME-WE 5 24 20000
2019 MARS 16 700

The Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian region has been on a steady path of development since the boom following the submarine cable industry downturn in the early 2000’s. It has enjoyed mostly consistent growth since 2003 despite its small size, largely due to it being an important crossroads region between the busier EMEA and AustralAsia regions.

Figure 81 - Systems in Service - Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian

Figure 81 – Systems in Service – Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian

The region has experienced periods of rapid development, followed by a brief period of dormancy. The years of growth have been largely driven by trans-regional systems such as SEA-ME-WE 3, 4 and 5, FLAG, Falcon and AAE-1 to name a few. This has resulted in 3 distinct development spikes in 2006-2007, 2009 and 2015-2017. (Figure 81) Local development is largely small systems linking India east to Indonesia or west to the Middle East and beyond, providing new connections for the countries that ring the Indian Ocean.

8.6.2 Future Systems

Table 14: Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian Planned Systems
RFS Year System Capacity (Tbps) Length (kms)
2020 IOX 54 8850
2020 METISS 24 3000
2021 Orient Express 1300
2021 SAEx2 72 13900
2022 Eagle 120 16650

With two new systems added in 2017 none in 2018 and 4 systems planned through 2021, new system development will continue at a sporadic pace. This continues to follow the feast-or-famine style of system development that is the historical norm.

Figure 82 - KMS Added - Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian

Figure 82 – KMS Added – Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian

The region enjoyed the addition of 2 major systems in 2017, and the five systems planned for the period 2020-2022 potentially add nearly 44,000 kilometers of cable. (Figure 82) With Australia looking for more route diversity from its western coast and an increasing desire for connectivity between Asia and Europe, this steady growth could continue beyond 2021. Additionally, OTT providers are exploring routes from the United States to India and will potentially bring more system development to the region.

Figure 83 - Contract in Force - Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian, 2020-2022

Figure 83 – Contract in Force – Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian, 2020-2022

Two of the systems planned through 2022 in this region have achieved the CIF milestone. (Figure 83) Two systems are planning to link South Africa to India, two other routes are smaller, intra-regional systems while the last system seeks to provide yet another submarine cable between Singapore and Europe. Business cases for these systems may be difficult to prove, hampering efforts to secure funding. While these systems would expand route diversity in the region two of them are competing with each and it is very likely at least one of these systems will not hit their target RFS date.