Vocus is building an undersea high speed data cable between Australia and Singapore

Singapore lights. Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Vocus has contracted Alcatel Submarine Networks to build a 4,600 kms underwater cable between Australia and Singapore.

The $US170 million project links Australia to Singapore and Indonesia with a system providing a minimum of 40Tbps of capacity from Western Australia to South East Asia.

Vocus says it has approval from authorities in Singapore and Indonesia for the cable, which is expected to take be completed by August 2018.

The project, which brings the first 100 Gbit/second high-speed connection from Australia to South-East Asia, was a key strategic consideration in Vocus’ decision to purchase Nextgen Networks. That $807 million acquisition was finalised in October

The two companies formed a 50/50 joint venture in November 2015 to build the cable project.

The cable, combined with Nextgen’s trans-Australian fibre network, creates a high capacity fibre network from the East Coast of Australia through to Singapore via Perth) with direct connectivity into Indonesia.

Here’s what the Vocus network will look like:

Source: Vocus

In a report commissioned on the project in early 2016, telecom data market experts TeleGeography estimated demand for bandwidth between Australia and Asia would exceed 50Tbps by 2029.

There are already five undersea cables between Australia and Singapore.