Multinet Pakistan, a voice and data company, and Omantel of Oman yesterday announced the initiation of a new submarine cable network “Silk Route Gateway 1” to connect Karachi with Barka (near Muscat in Oman) with a strategic landing point at Gawadar in future.
SRG1 is going to be 900 kilometer long submarine cable with two fiber pairs system design with capacity of 10Tbps of communication per fiber pair.
Future extension of SRG1 includes a branching unit through Gawadar to connect the next economic hub of Asia with a direct international link.
Current consortium members for SRG1 are Multinet and Omantel and they are already in talks to accept another one or at most two members to be part of SRG1.
Multinet said that SRG1 will be completed and operational in 18 months from today at a cost of USD 24 million.
For the purpose SRG1 consortium yesterday signed Xtera as turnkey vendor for the establishment and maintenance of submarine cable.
Upon completion, Pakistan will immediately get 200Gbps of additional bandwidth, however, this capacity could be upped to 20Tbps with time, mainly based on market demand.
With Multinet as part of SRG1, the duopoly of PTCL and TW1 in space of international bandwidth will end.
Market sources suggest that Multinet’s entrance in market is going to reduce internet bandwidth prices for Pakistani ISPs and telcos by at least 60%. Sources said that current bandwidth rate of USD 3,000 per STM1 are expected to hit USD 1,200 per STM1 till end of 2017.
Pakistan’s current international links and bandwidth capacity include:
- TW1 with design capacity of 1.28Tbps
- Sea-Me-We-3 with 480 Gbps with two fibre pairs
- Sea-Me-We-4 with design capacity of 1.28Tbps
- I-ME-WE with Design Capacity of 3.86Tbps
Following international links with landing points in Pakistan are under construction:
- AAE-1 with design capacity of 40Tbps
- Sea-Me-We-5 with design capacity of 24Tbps
- Silk Route Gateway-1 with design capacity of 20Tbps
- Pakistan-China Fiber Optic Back-Haul