Superloop aims to boost Hong Kong’s role as regional data centre hub with submarine cable system

Infrastructure part of Australian network services provider’s US$34m high-capacity, 110 kilometre-long fibre optic network across the city

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 7:02am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 10:00am

Australian telecommunications network services provider Superloop aims to help buttress Hong Kong’s position as a data centre hub in the Asia-Pacific, following its launch on Friday of the first fibre-optic submarine cable system to connect the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate and Chai Wan.

The high-capacity, 2.8-kilometre TKO Express cable system will help “enhance the competitiveness” of the city by meeting demand for a low-latency and fully diverse route between Hong Kong island and the industrial estate, where the market’s largest concentration of advanced data centres are located, said Superloop Hong Kong country manager Susana Halliday at a press conference on Friday.

“It provides an infrastructure ... that could possibly attract more customers to that area,” she said.

The new cable system has gone live ahead of a competing infrastructure, the 3km Ultra Express Link, that Hong Kong telecommunications giant HKT expects to start building in the second half of this year.

Tseung Kwan O has 13 operational data centres, including facilities run by Telstra’s Pacnet, NTT Communications, Towngas Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, HKColo Group and Japan’s KDDI Corp, and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

It is also the site of the city’s largest data centre that is currently being built by SuneVision, the technology arm of property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Data centres are secure, temperature-controlled facilities that house large-capacity servers and data storage systems, and equipped with multiple power sources and high-bandwidth internet connections.

These facilities are largely used by companies to remotely store large amounts of data, manage business applications and host cloud computing operations. Cloud services enable companies to buy, lease or sell software and other digital resources online, just like electricity from a power grid.

TKO Express is part of Superloop’s A$45 million (US$34 million) Hong Kong fibre-optic network, the first phase of which was initially launched in December last year. This network now links about 30 data centres and commercial buildings across the city.

Founded in 2014, Superloop has built three crossings connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon: Western Harbour, Eastern Harbour and now the TKO Express cable system.

It provides an infrastructure ... that could possibly attract more customers to that area
Susana Halliday, Superloop

Halliday said TKO Express is about 20km shorter than alternate network routes that pass through Wan Po Road, the main transport artery to and from the Tseung Kwan O industrial estate that is clogged with various public and private infrastructure works.

“Many of our customers, particularly those in the finance sector, would not accept a network with a single area of failure, so we developed an alternative solution with the TKO Express cable system,” Halliday said.

She pointed out that the cable system delivers the kind of reliable, fast and secure connectivity that meets the requirements of the market.