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Submarine cable system linking Asia, Africa and Europe starts operations

Staff Writer |
A 25,000-kilometer submarine cable system linking Asia, Africa and Europe has entered service, as China United Network Communications Group accelerates steps to build internet infrastructure for countries and regions related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

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The Asia-Africa-Europe-1 cable system, better known as AAE-1, has been officially launched, with services commencing from Europe to the Far East, said the AAE-1 consortium, which coordinates efforts to complete the project. China Unicom is a key member of the alliance.

The AAE-1 is the world's largest submarine cable system built in more than a decade.

It can provide the lowest latency express internet route among dozens of countries and regions across Asia and Europe, China Unicom said in a statement. It did not disclose the specific investment in this project.

The cable system connects Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.

The section for China's Hong Kong, Cambodia, Myanmar and Yemen is expected to be put into use in October, China Unicom said.

The AAE-1 project was initiated by China Unicom, the country's second-largest telecom carrier by subscribers, in 2012.

With a minimum design capacity of 40 terabytes per second, it is designed initially with 100 gigabit per second transmission technology and is upgradable to future technology to meet new bandwidth demands.

China Unicom said with AAE-1, it will become the only operator in China to have two submarine cable systems to connect Asia, Africa and Europe.

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