Telecommunications

Delivering major telecommunication infrastructure upgrades, allowing PNG to access more reliable and affordable services.

Submarine Cable (International & Domestic)

The International Submarine Cable project linking Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia is of great significance – one intended to boost connectivity, improve internet access and drive economic growth in the country. The Coral Sea Cable System (CS2) is estimated to be K331 (AU$ 136.6 million) and is being funded jointly by the Australia and PNG governments. The cable system, to be commissioned in November 2019, will link Port Moresby to Sydney and will increase the communications bandwidth capacity up to 20 Tb/sec, relieving the country of its dependence on ageing, congested infrastructure. Once this cable is live, the cost of internet access will reduce significantly – less reliance on expensive satellite connectivity.

NEC has approved the Domestic Submarine Cable network to provide reliable, affordable and consistent in-country communications connectivity to existing networks. Currently, the country’s communications systems rely on limited bandwidth microwave connections or expensive satellite connectivity. A domestic fibre cable system will allow the rest of the country the opportunity to experience fast, affordable communications.

The Government secured a loan from China’s EXIM Bank to fund the Domestic Submarine Cable network, estimated at US$ 270 million (K879 million) – the Government is putting forward 15% of the cost while the EXIM Bank loan covers for 85%.

DataCo, the wholesale arm of Kumul Telikom Holdings, is the implementing agency.

The project is intended to utilize approximately 5, 600 kilometres of submarine fibre optic cables to connect at least 15 coastal and maritime provincial centres across Papua New Guinea. The cable is manufactured in China and will be delivered to PNG by the end of October 2018. Laying of the cable will commence soon after delivery – it has already been tested at the factory in the presence of DataCo.

The submarine cable network will be constructed in two phases:

Phase I of the project will connect Port Moresby to Madang, with landing stations in the Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Lae and Madang – Huawei is the contractor of the project. Preparation work on the landing stations are in progress with site survey and preliminary works completed. Phase I is expected to be completed by February 2019.

Phase II of the project will then see to the connection from Madang to Wewak, Vanimo and New Guinea Islands – this is anticipated to be completed by end of 2019.

The project is deemed to lower the cost of internet and increase access to reliable fast broadband services across the country.

PNG has also received an O3B satellite system capable of providing 6 GB/s of bandwidth to the country. This coincides with the APEC Leaders’ Summit and was funded through a grant, from Australia.

 

KCH Key deliverables for 2018:

  • Signing of contracts for the International cable system and appointment of main contractor
  • Submarine cable survey of the domestic system
  • Landing station agreements and early works commence