Members of the media and bloggers fraternity paid a visit to TM’s submarine cable landing station …
True to its position as the nation’s leading integrated information and communications group and Malaysia’s Broadband Champion, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) recently played host to a group of journalists and bloggers for a site visit to its submarine cable landing station (SCLS) in Pengkalan Balak, Melaka. The tour aims to further educate and increase public awareness on the importance of submarine cable network in carrying and disseminating data for Internet users in Malaysia.
In the wake of several high profile earthquakes and typhoons in recent years, Internet services in the Asia-Pacific region and even parts of the Middle East were halted when submarine cable systems sustained damages. These incidents led to interrupted experience to Internet related services, and Malaysia was not spared.
Hosted by Mohamad Rozaimy Abd Rahman, Executive Vice President, Global & Wholesale, TM the group were taken on a tour of the SCLS facility beginning with a brief introduction on the history of submarine cables and an overview of the submarine cable landing station. Members of the media and bloggers were also briefed on the submarine cable systems owned by TM as well as the submarine cable consortiums, of which the Company is a member of.
During the visit, the group were enlightened on the station’s various roles which include, but not limited to; managing and providing round-the-clock technical support, maintenance, identifying and restoring circuit failures, and co-ordinating with cable ship operators for maintenance and restoration works among others.
“TM is constantly developing IP communications and enhancing the reliability of its global network services by boosting the capacity and strengthening its ability to provide Malaysia with extensive regional reach and seamless interconnections, hence a better surfing experience for Internet users. The Asia-Pacific region is prone to seismic activities which are hazardous to undersea cables. As such, we also continuously look for alternative diverse routing within the region to avoid the areas as well potential restoration paths to the existing cable systems to ensure seamless interconnection to existing trans-Pacific cable systems. Most of the cable systems are collectively owned by consortiums of operators of which TM is a member of, and each member is equally responsible for its operations and maintenance,” said Rozaimy.
Members of the media and bloggers listening to the briefing given by the officer-in-charge at TM’s submarine Cable Landing Station in Melaka during the site visit to the facilities recently.
“When a cable cut occurs, due to either natural disaster such as earthquake or tsunami, the consortium will need to deploy a specialised team on cable ships for restoration. The restoration activity requires careful planning, coordination and full co-operation from the consortium members and is also subject to several conditions, such as the weather, the cable ship availability, cross-border clearance, etc. At the same time, another team will be looking into rerouting the Internet and data traffic to ensure minimum disruptions on the customers’ end, wherever possible. It is not an easy and spontaneous task; but it has to be done thoroughly – this is the extent that TM would go in delivering Internet experience to our customers,” Rozaimy elaborated.
“We currently have nine (9) SCLS facilities which are responsible for the management and control of the operational planning of TM’s submarine cable systems in Malaysia. These submarine cable systems carry nearly 100% of TM’s domestic voice and data traffic between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak and up to 99% of TM’s international traffic volume, reflecting the crucial roles that these cable systems play in connecting Malaysia and beyond,” he concluded.
A SCLS is where the submarine cable system makes landfall where the landing will either be direct (in the case of a point-to-point cable system) or via a branch from a main cable using a submarine branching unit. Landing points are usually areas which have little marine traffic to minimise the risk of cables being damaged by ship anchors and trawler operations, with sloping, sandy or silty sea-floors so that the cable can be buried to minimise the chance of damage; and without strong currents that would uncover buried cables and potentially move cables.
This particular SCLS in Melaka is the landing point for the Batam-Dumai-Melaka cable system (BDM), a jointly built high bandwidth optical fibre submarine cable system between Malaysia and Indonesia which commenced operations in early January 2012. Prior to that, this cable station houses the SEA-ME-WE 4 (SMW4) cable system that carries most of Malaysia’s Internet traffic to Europe as well as the Dumai-Melaka Cable System (DMCS), also, linking Malaysia and Indonesia. Both systems commenced operations in 2005.
To date, TM owns or leases capacity on more than 10 submarine cable systems, which span more than 60,000 fibre-route miles around the globe, including several submarine cable routes that the company uses to carry traffic between the Asia-Pacific region and North America. As the nation’s leading telecommunications provider, TM continues to play its integral role in fulfilling the Government’s aspiration of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that is “Extending the Regional Network” as the submarine cable systems will enable the Company to provide Malaysians with better regional reach and a highly dependable regional network.
TM is also member of the various consortiums for submarine cable systems in the region, which include Asia America Gateway(AAG), South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe Cable System 3 (SEA-ME-WE3 – SMW3), SEA-ME-WE4 (SMW4), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), Cahaya Malaysia (CM) – TM’s first international private cable system and the latest, Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) that will link Malaysia and Singapore to the Middle East (Oman and United Arab Emirates) with connections reaching out to India (Mumbai and Chennai) and Sri Lanka.
For further information on TM, visit www.tm.com.my.