ICE IV Project to connect Asia, ME and Africa

09 February 2024

Telin, Telecom Egypt and e& Carrier & Wholesale Services have formed a consortium to develop the ICE IV Project, a subsea cable system connecting the Intra Asia region to India and the Middle East.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), E&, Telecom Egypt and Telin, and an unnamed major Indian operator, will deploy an open subsea data centre (DC) to DC system spanning approximately 11,000km to interconnect Indonesia and Singapore to India, Oman, Egypt, and the UAE.

ICE IV is part of Telin’s ambitious Indonesian Cable Express (ICE) programme, which aims to build seven separate cable systems connecting Indonesia to all potential markets over the next five years. The first ICE project aims to connect Malaysia, Singapore and Batam.

“We envision Indonesia as the future hub in this Indo-Pacific region,” said Telin CEO Budi Satria Dharma Purba. “We can create new opportunities for all ICE cable systems by integrating it with relevant countries and systems. Indonesian Cable Express will be the bridge.”

Part of the planned ICE IV route will run through the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra that connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean. The system will also include a landing point at Kochi in southwest India.

This will provide an alternate resilient route and new international gateway, as Kochi currently has just three subsea cable connections, including SEA-WE-ME 3 and the SAFE cable connecting Malaysia directly with South Africa.

By comparison, Mumbai further up the coast already hosts 11 subsea cables, with another six expected to be ready for service by 2025.

The ICE IV system will accommodate possible terrestrial extensions between the Middle East and Egypt, and between Kochi and Chennai.

“The new DC to DC system will enable us to increase capabilities and global capacity further to meet the evolving requirements of customers across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Americas," said Nabil Baccouche, group chief carrier and Wholesale Officer at e&.

“This particular route is considered the core infrastructure connecting the largest continents, and one of the major and continuously expanding subsea routes,” said Mohamed Nasr, MD and CEO at Telecom Egypt. “ICE IV Project will enable us to extend our footprint and further diversify our subsea infrastructure portfolio to promptly address the ever-growing demand for global connectivity."

The carriers expect ICE IV to be ready for service by the fourth quarter of 2027.