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Orient Link onboards NEC to develop MIST submarine cable

26 Aug 2020

NEC Corporation and NTT-led joint venture Orient Link are on a mission to design a new subsea cable system that will directly connect the Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and two locations in India (Mumbai and Chennai).

The Myanmar/Malaysia India Singapore Transit (MIST) Cable System will be designed to deliver more than 216 terabits per second (Tbps) capacity and will span more than 8100 kilometres (5033 miles).

Commenting on the announcement, Orient Link CEO Yoshio Sato says that India and Southeast Asia are amongst the world’s fastest-growing economies in the world.

“I am very pleased to announce the launch of MIST, providing a truly connected India to our clients around the world, delivering high-quality, low-latency networks to the people in India as the nation charges forward with its digital transformation roadmap.”

"Not only will MIST respond to the growing demands for inter-DC-connectivity across countries in the Southeast Asia region, but it ultimately allows for Orient Link to grow its offering and expand into India and beyond. Orient Link has selected NEC as a supply partner whose extensive experience in expeditiously implementing submarine cable systems will play a key role in our project's success."

Orient Link was formed in October 2019 in order to strengthen NTT Group’s submarine cable business.  

“Through this joint venture, NTT Ltd. will accelerate the submarine cable business, respond to the scale and speed of service demanded by customers, and further improve service quality with its partnerships,” a statement from Orient Link says, dated October 2019. 

According to the companies, the Asia region is also going through a period of ‘accelerated digital investment’ driven by growth in data centers, 5G services, and the expansion of cloud usage – particularly in e-commerce, cloud services for enterprises, and SNS.

They believe that MIST will help to grow and improve Asia communications networks by improving network redundancy, ensuring highly reliable communications and expanding onward connectivity options in the Bay of Bengal.

NEC’s submarine network division general manager Atsushi Kuwahara adds that NEC is honored to be selected as MIST’s supplier, together with NEC. 

“In recent years, we have been supplying the majority of submarine cables in the region and this project enables NEC to continue contributing to advanced infrastructure for serving growing traffic demands.”

"Together with NEC, we intend to fully capitalize on our regional expertise in Southeast Asia and India to ensure the successful completion of this project."

The MIST Cable System started construction in late 2019. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter of FY 2022. The project equates to around a US$400 million investment.