Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 had disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on day after the signing of SEA-ME-WE 5 agreement in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Hualian (Happy) Zhang, the VP of Network Planning for China Telecom Global, was among the ill-fated passengers of KL-Beijing flight. Besides, two persons from the Ministry, two persons from Huawei and one person from another telecom vendor were on board. Ms.
Espionage outfits of Singapore, Australia, USA and UK have unlawfully intercepted the voice and data traffic of SEA-ME-WE 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable networks. Philip Dorling, the National Affairs and Defence Correspondent for The Canberra Times, broke this news quoting Edward Snowden’s leaked information. Australia’s all the major newspapers (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times) have simultaneously published his sensational exclusive report. Australian intelligence expert and Australian National University professor Des Ball said that intelligence collection from fibre optic cables had become “extremely important” since the late 1990s because such communications channels now carry more than 95 per cent of long distance international telecommunications traffic. “Fibre optic cables are much more difficult to intercept than satellite communications,” Professor Ball said.
All submarine cables connecting the Far East with Europe and Africa transit at India. It has made 12 submarine cables (six owned by consortiums and six privately-owned) hopping into 10 cable landing stations (CLS) at the Indian seashore. Voice and data traffic of 27 international long distance operators (ILDO) are processed through the 10 CLS. Four (Tata, Airtel, Reliance and BSNL) out of the 27 ILD providers own respective CLS in India. The ILDOs who don’t own CLS told TRAI that Tata Communication and Bharti Airtel together enjoy a 93% market share.
Asia’s median wholesale price of Internet bandwidth is now more than four-times expensive than Europe’s. In LIRNEasia I have been working with ESCAP to formulate a Eurasian terrestrial cable initiative. The objective is making Asia’s submarine cables highly resilient by adding a meshed transcontinental overland optical fiber network. It will make Asia’s wholesale IP-transit bandwidth cost either at par or lesser than Europe’s. Broadband in Asia, regardless fixed or mobile, will grow like mobile voice.