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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SEA-ME-WE 3 or South-East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 3 is an optical submarine telecommunications cable linking those regions and is the longest in the world, completed in late 2000. It is operated by India's Tata Communications and 92 other investors from the telecom industry. It was commissioned in March 2000 in India.

It is 39,000 kilometres (24,000 mi) in length and uses Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technology with Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) transmission to increase capacity and enhance the quality of the signal, especially over long distances (this cable stretches from North Germany to Australia and Japan).

According to the cable system network administrator's website, the system capacity has been upgraded several times. The cable system itself has two fibre pairs, each carrying (as of May 2007) 48 wavelengths of 10 Gbit/s [1]

Landing points

The route (in red) and landing points (numbered in black)

It has 39 landing points in:

  1. Norden, Germany
  2. Oostende, Belgium
  3. Goonhilly, England, UK
  4. Penmarch, France
  5. Sesimbra, Portugal
  6. Tetuan, Morocco
  7. Mazara del Vallo, Italy
  8. Chania, Greece
  9. Marmaris, Turkey
  10. Yeroskipou, Cyprus
  11. Alexandria, Egypt
  12. Suez, Egypt
  13. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  14. Djibouti, Djibouti
  15. Muscat, Oman
  16. Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
  17. Karachi, Pakistan
  18. Mumbai, India
  19. Cochin, India
  20. Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
  21. Pyapon, Myanmar
  22. Satun, Thailand
  23. Penang, Malaysia (Where it meets the SAFE and the FLAG cables.)
  24. Medan, Indonesia
  25. Tuas, Singapore
  26. Jakarta, Indonesia
  27. Perth, Australia
  28. Mersing, Malaysia
  29. Tungku, Brunei
  30. Da Nang, Vietnam
  31. Batangas, Philippines
  32. Taipa, Macau
  33. Deep Water Bay, Hong Kong
  34. Shantou, China
  35. Fangshan, Taiwan
  36. Toucheng, Taiwan
  37. Shanghai, China
  38. Keoje, South Korea
  39. Okinawa, Japan

Service disruptions

In July 2005, a portion of the SEA-ME-WE 3 submarine cable located 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Karachi that provided Pakistan's major outer communications became defective, disrupting almost all of Pakistan's communications with the rest of the world, and affecting approximately 10 million Internet users.[2][3][4]

On the 26 December 2006 this link severed, causing major disruption to internet services to and from the Far East. The cause of this was suspected to be a magnitude 7.1 earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. It was stated that the link would take 3 weeks to repair. [5]

On 30 January, 2008 an apparent ship's anchor off Egypt's Alexandria coast is thought to have cut the newer SEA-ME-WE 4 cable, which is intended to provide redundancy, causing slow Internet connections and disruption to international calls to the U.S. and Europe from the Middle East and South Asia. Over 70 percent of the network in Egypt was down. Although central to India's largest carrier, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, the deputy-director general of that organisation said "Only 10 to 15 percent of our connectivity with the international gateway faced problems"[6].

On 19th December 2008, the cable was again severed, simultaneously with SEA-ME-WE 4, the FLAG FEA cable, and the GO-1 cable. [7] [8]


  1. ^ "Background.". SEA-ME-WE 3. undated. Retrieved 2009-01-13.  
  2. ^ Pakistan Times | Top Story: Standby Net arrangements terminated in Pakistan
  3. ^ Communication breakdown in Pakistan - Breaking - Technology -
  4. ^ Pakistan cut off from the world-Pakistan-World-The Times of India
  5. ^ "Asia phone links start to recover". BBC News. 28 December 2006.  
  6. ^ Bloomberg
  7. ^ "Severed Cables in Mediterranean Disrupt Communication". Bloomberg. 19 December 2008.  
  8. ^ "GO submarine cable fault part of wider disruption between Italy and Egypt". Times of Malta. 19 December 2008.  


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