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The Trans-Asian Terrestrial
Broadband Link
Abu Saeed Khan
Senior Policy Fellow
LIRNEasia
@ Workshop on Broadband Policy an...
Great shift has happened
Greater shift is happening
•PSTN took 125 years to get 1 billion users
•It took mobile 10 years t...
Asia and Pacific lags behind
(Graphs: ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database)

• APAC is economic growth
eng...
The Cloud Readiness Index 2012
Cushman & Wakefield

Source: Asia Cloud Computing Association
Cushman & Wakefield Data Center Risk Index - 2013
60%

35%

5%
Cushman & Wakefield Data Center Risk Index - 2013
60%

35%

5%
Median 10 GigE IP Transit Prices
in Major Global Cities, Q2 2010-Q2 2013

“While prices have declined globally, significan...
The Great Asian Divide

(Source: TeleGeography)

Median IP transit prices/Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet, Q2 2010-Q2 2013
2010

20...
Bandwidth and affordability
divide in ASEAN-9
Country

Activated
Int'l
wholesale
bandwidth
capacity in
2012

Int'l
Int'l
R...
Why bandwidth is expensive in Asia?

Good competition
•Terrestrial & submarine

Fierce competition
•Coast-coast terrestria...
Trans-Pacific (Asia-USA) cables are under fire
Pirates rule Europe-Asia route

“In 2011 Somali piracy cost the world economy $7
billion and earned the pirates some $160 ...
Business (not) as usual
NAIROBI, April 16,
2009 (Reuters)Foreign navies have
agreed to protect a
vessel installing an
unde...
ME-Europe gets terrestrial
Jeddah-Amman-DamascusIstanbul (JADI)

Regional Cable Network (RCN)

Bypass Egypt
Dodge the pira...
Europe Persia
Express Gateway

Iran and Oman also detour

“EPEG is now the Internet’s fastest path between the Gulf and
Eu...
1) 2008: Reliance and China Mobile terrestrial link.
2) 2009: Tata and China Mobile terrestrial link.
3) 2010: Bharti and ...
China goes to Europe via Russia
Why rush to Europe?

•

•
•
•

Middle East’s internet connectivity with Europe has sharply grown from 51% to 85%
during 20...
State-owned PTT
Closed access


Asian Highway has connected:
Russia, India, China, Turkey, Central Asia, SAARC, ASEAN+2
A network of 141,000 km of standar...
Longest International Open-access Network (LION)
to link Asia and Europe

Asian Highway has already linked the borders.
A ...
Each country’s share in Asian Highway
Targets of LION: Open-access

1) Diversity and Redundancy to all submarine cables linking Asia with
Europe and the USA via...
Advantages of LION
• Presumed ‘unfriendly’ countries are already interlinked.
– Submarine : SEA-ME-WE 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4.
–...
Impacts of LION
• Internet in Asia will be similar to or cheaper than the EU.
– Mobile broadband (HSPA/LTE) will grow like...
Courtesy: Ciena

Submarine networks = Terrestrial networks
Courtesy: Ciena
So called alternate networks
• Regional Expert Consultation on Connecting AsiaPacific’s Digital Society for Building Resilience.
• 5-6 September 2012, ...
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The Trans-Asian Terrestrial Broadband Link

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The Trans-Asian Terrestrial Broadband Link

  1. 1. The Trans-Asian Terrestrial Broadband Link Abu Saeed Khan Senior Policy Fellow LIRNEasia @ Workshop on Broadband Policy and implementation in South Africa Pretoria – November 12, 2013
  2. 2. Great shift has happened Greater shift is happening •PSTN took 125 years to get 1 billion users •It took mobile 10 years to get 1st billion •More than 5 billion mobile users •Redefining digital divide: Mobility and ubiquity of voice and text Ubiquity of broadband is yet to happen
  3. 3. Asia and Pacific lags behind (Graphs: ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Indicators database) • APAC is economic growth engine of the world. • Altogether more than $16 trillion economies. • Home of more than 60% global population.
  4. 4. The Cloud Readiness Index 2012 Cushman & Wakefield Source: Asia Cloud Computing Association
  5. 5. Cushman & Wakefield Data Center Risk Index - 2013 60% 35% 5%
  6. 6. Cushman & Wakefield Data Center Risk Index - 2013 60% 35% 5%
  7. 7. Median 10 GigE IP Transit Prices in Major Global Cities, Q2 2010-Q2 2013 “While prices have declined globally, significant geographic differences persist. For example, the median Hong Kong 10 GigE price has remained 3 to 5 times the price of a GigE port in London over the past 3 years. Developing Asian nations procure wholesale Internet bandwidth mostly from Singapore and Hong Kong at price 11times that of Europe.” - TeleGeography.
  8. 8. The Great Asian Divide (Source: TeleGeography) Median IP transit prices/Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet, Q2 2010-Q2 2013 2010 2011 2012 2013 2012-13 CAGR 10-13 Hong Kong $28.00 $22.00 $16.00 $16.49 3% -16% Seoul $49.16 $37.00 $25.00 $20.00 -20% -26% Singapore $39.00 $31.00 $14.40 $13.51 -6% -30% Taipei $43.50 $39.33 $25.00 $21.34 -15% -21% Tokyo $31.76 $30.01 $20.00 $18.00 -10% -17% Jakarta $50.00 $26.00 $25.50 $20.00 -22% -26% Kuala Lumpur $57.00 $45.03 $31.08 $26.85 -14% -22% $156.23 $132.97 $60.00 $49.98 -17% -32% $38.09 $40.00 $38.00 $38.00 0% 0% East Asia and China SE Asia and India Manila Mumbai
  9. 9. Bandwidth and affordability divide in ASEAN-9 Country Activated Int'l wholesale bandwidth capacity in 2012 Int'l Int'l Retail wholesale bandwidth price per bandwidth per capita Mbps price/Mbps (Kbps) Annual retail bandwidth Fixed Mobile price as a % broadband penetration of per capita penetration GDP Cambodia 11 Gbps $80 0.764 $35 48.70% 0.45% 152.78% Indonesia 250 Gbps $70 1.030 $20 5.50% 1.24% 119.44% Lao PDR 2.5 Gbps $100 0.383 $33 27.40% 0.61% 88.92% Malaysia 400 Gbps $25 15.60 $33 4.40% 7.79% 137.49% Myanmar 14 Gbps $100 0.286 $55 132.80% 0.10% 11.12% Philippines 530 Gbps $80 5.450 $24 11.20% 1.51% 104.87% 1,389 Gbps $10 258.30 $4 0.10% 25.49% 149.90% Thailand 463 Gbps $80 6.622 $2 0.50% 6.16% 114.42% Vietnam 360 Gbps $70 5.150 $10 7.90% 4.88% 152.06% Singapore Source: Michael Ruddy, Terabit Consulting, September, 2013.
  10. 10. Why bandwidth is expensive in Asia? Good competition •Terrestrial & submarine Fierce competition •Coast-coast terrestrial Broadband’s biggest barrier Poor competition All submarine
  11. 11. Trans-Pacific (Asia-USA) cables are under fire
  12. 12. Pirates rule Europe-Asia route “In 2011 Somali piracy cost the world economy $7 billion and earned the pirates some $160 million in ransoms, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau. Piracy is receding of late, but it is still a threat.” Reuters: August 13, 2012.
  13. 13. Business (not) as usual NAIROBI, April 16, 2009 (Reuters)Foreign navies have agreed to protect a vessel installing an undersea high-speed Internet cable from pirates off the coast of Somalia.
  14. 14. ME-Europe gets terrestrial Jeddah-Amman-DamascusIstanbul (JADI) Regional Cable Network (RCN) Bypass Egypt Dodge the pirates
  15. 15. Europe Persia Express Gateway Iran and Oman also detour “EPEG is now the Internet’s fastest path between the Gulf and Europe, shaving at least ten percent off the best submarine cable round trip time from Dubai to Frankfurt.” Jim Cowie, Renesys. 26 Sep, 2013. APAC to Europe via Middle East?
  16. 16. 1) 2008: Reliance and China Mobile terrestrial link. 2) 2009: Tata and China Mobile terrestrial link. 3) 2010: Bharti and China Mobile terrestrial link.
  17. 17. China goes to Europe via Russia
  18. 18. Why rush to Europe? • • • • Middle East’s internet connectivity with Europe has sharply grown from 51% to 85% during 2003~2013. Less than 6% of South Asian capacity was connected to Europe in 2003 while it is over 46% today. Europe now accounts for 94% of international Internet bandwidth connected to North Africa, up from 61% ten years ago 72% of bandwidth connected to Sub-Saharan Africa, up from 39% a decade ago.
  19. 19. State-owned PTT Closed access 
  20. 20. Asian Highway has connected: Russia, India, China, Turkey, Central Asia, SAARC, ASEAN+2 A network of 141,000 km of standardized roadways crisscrossing 32 Asian countries connecting EU.
  21. 21. Longest International Open-access Network (LION) to link Asia and Europe Asian Highway has already linked the borders. A fully meshed terrestrial LION is waiting.
  22. 22. Each country’s share in Asian Highway
  23. 23. Targets of LION: Open-access 1) Diversity and Redundancy to all submarine cables linking Asia with Europe and the USA via Japan through a Terrestrial Consortium. 2) Migrate SEA-ME-WE (3 & 4) from offshore to on-shore.  Also let all private carriers to migrate. 3) No regulatory disruption. Only the licensed carriers will access LION.
  24. 24. Advantages of LION • Presumed ‘unfriendly’ countries are already interlinked. – Submarine : SEA-ME-WE 3 and SEA-ME-WE 4. – Terrestrial: Sino-Russian link (TEA) and Sino-Indian link (Reliance/Tata/Bharti + China Mobile). • Highly resilient due to being meshed. – Rerouting the traffic means ‘zero’ downtime. – Installation and maintenance crew/materials available everywhere. • Creates more opportunities for submarine cables. – Investments in transpacific rather than intra-Asia. – Lower latency and higher SLA at lesser cost for intl’ bandwidth. Open access guaranteed
  25. 25. Impacts of LION • Internet in Asia will be similar to or cheaper than the EU. – Mobile broadband (HSPA/LTE) will grow like 2G voice. • Smart devices and Wi-Fi offload will accelerate the data growth. – Investments in broadband will increase. – There will be higher ROI in FTTx. • More international and domestic PoPs/access nodes will emerge.  Landlocked countries will have bandwidth at equal cost.  Sub-regional telecoms initiatives have not delivered that.  Pacific islands will enjoy reduced bandwidth cost in the mainland. • International Gateway (IGW) reforms will be accelerated. – Usage of submarine cables’ purchased capacity will be maximized. – Carriers will commit longer contracts. National broadband backbones will require lesser subsidies.
  26. 26. Courtesy: Ciena Submarine networks = Terrestrial networks
  27. 27. Courtesy: Ciena
  28. 28. So called alternate networks
  29. 29. • Regional Expert Consultation on Connecting AsiaPacific’s Digital Society for Building Resilience. • 5-6 September 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka • Building E-Resilience through ICTs and Space Technology. • 20-21 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand • Expert Consultation on the Asian Information Superhighway and Regional Connectivity. • 24-25 September 2013, Manila, Philippines Next: Expert Consultation on the Asian information superhighway and regional connectivity, 3-4 December 2013, Baku, Azerbaijan.

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