Pakistan's internet capacity to be increased by 96 Tb/s with new submarine cable system

Published April 17, 2019
From left to right: Chen Zhongmin, the Chief Technical Officer PEACE Cable; WU Qianjun, Chief Executive Officer PEACE Cable and VP Hengtong Group; Danish Lakhani, Chief Executive Officer, Cybernet; and Maroof Ali Shahani, Chief Operating Officer, Cybernet. — PR
From left to right: Chen Zhongmin, the Chief Technical Officer PEACE Cable; WU Qianjun, Chief Executive Officer PEACE Cable and VP Hengtong Group; Danish Lakhani, Chief Executive Officer, Cybernet; and Maroof Ali Shahani, Chief Operating Officer, Cybernet. — PR

A landing party agreement signed between Cybernet Pakistan and PEACE Cable International Network Company Ltd is set to increase Pakistan's internet infrastructure capacity by 96 terrabits per second with the country's first carrier-neutral, open-access submarine cable system.

Pakistan and East Africa Connecting Europe (PEACE) Cable International Network Company Ltd and Cyber Internet Services Pvt Ltd (Cybernet Pakistan) signed the agreement on April 16 in Cairo, a press release said. A Memorandum of Understanding for the project was inked in 2018.

The PEACE cable system, with landings in Pakistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya and France, will provide critical interconnectivity to the economic corridors of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

It is a 12,000-kilometre-long, privately owned cable system "that provides an open, flexible and carrier-neutral services for its customer", the press release said. The first phase of the project will connect Asia, Europe and Africa. PEACE is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2020.

The statement said that the project would enable carriers to extend gigabit speeds to the local population and will be instrumental in meeting the exponential growth in bandwidth demand from mobile and fixed broadband users in Pakistan and neighbouring countries.

"The system design will adopt the latest 200G technology and WSS technology, which provides the capability to transmit over 16 terrabits per fiber pair, servicing growing regional capacity needs," the statement said.

Cybernet is the PEACE Cable Landing Station Partner in Pakistan and will be deploying PEACE Pakistan Cable Landing Station (CLS) and managing its operations. Cybernet will also be building Pakistan’s first carrier-neutral cable landing station for PEACE cable by March 2020 in Karachi.

Take a look: ISP insider: How my search for faster internet in Pakistan drove me up the wall

Cybernet Pakistan CEO Danish Lakhani, while addressing a ceremony in this regard said that the submarine cable system would have an "outsized impact on the digital landscape in Pakistan".

"With its ultra-low latency design, the cable will cut down transit time between Pakistan and France to under 90 milliseconds — dramatically improving the response time of internet-based applications and the experience of our users," he explained.

"The cable will also bolster the redundancy of our country’s connectivity to the rest of world," the CEO added.

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