SEA-ME-WE -3 or SMW 3,It is the submarine cable network which has been providing us with internet access for years, to parts of Asia and Europe .

Called the SEA-ME-WE 3 (South East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3), this undersea cable network adopts the most advanced telecommunication technologies such as wavelength division multiplex, optical amplifier and synchronization digital hierarchy to connect three-quarters of the Earth’s population by phone, fax, Internet and video.
Sea-Me-We 3 is the world’s longest intercontinental submarine network connecting Northern Europe to East Asia and Australia, spanning approximately 40,000 km. It also provides its services to some of the leading telecom companies of the world like British Telecom (BT), France Telecom, Deutsche Telecom China Telecom, and SingTel (Singapore). Sea-Me-We 3 is the most complex network architecture of any undersea system in the world.

The SEA-ME-WE-3 project was started in 1994 by Singapore Telecom and France Telecom after the success of the Sea-Me-We 2 (“South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 2”) SMW 2submarine cable project.

More than 92 telecom companies in 50 countries invested in SMW3, to cover a total cost of about US$1.5 billion. It has wider coverage than the Sea-Me-We 2 system, which entered service in 1994 between Marseille and Singapore.
Special ships were used to lay down the underwater cable. Alcatel Submarine Networks and AT&T were the main manufacturers of the cable which is buried down to 1500 meters in many areas. Alcatel also supplied the major part of the undersea optical networking infrastructure. SMW3 has been in service since August 1999.

It has 39 landing points in 33 countries and 4 continents from Western Europe (including Germany, England and France) to the Far East (including China, Japan and Singapore) and to Australia. The countries covered by SEA-ME-WE-3 SMW3 project (In alphabetical order) include
Australia, Belgium, Brunei, China, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam. Bangladesh remains the only country with sea access in this region with no access to this undersea broadband network.

The backbone was initially designed to support data rates of 2.5 Gbit/s Using Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) transmissions. Afterwards Alcatel was awarded a $45 million contract by the Sea-Me-We 3 consortium to upgrade the network to support 10 Gbit/s transmissions, resulting in a 40 percent capacity increase. Today it consists of two fiber pairs each carrying 8 wavelengths, some wavelengths operate at 10G whilst others at 2.5G

The SMW cable is maintained and looked after by Singapore Telecom (SINGTEL) which is also responsible for managing the subscribers of this service.

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