The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has granted a facilities-based operator (FBO) licence to Keppel Midgard Holdings (KMH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T).

The FBO licence will allow KMH to own, maintain and operate telecoms infrastructure in Singapore and to provide telecommunications services in connection with the Bifrost Cable System, which Keppel T&T is undertaking with its partners, Facebook and Telin.

Thomas Pang, CEO of Keppel T&T, says that securing the FBO licence marks the start of its subsea cable business, which will broaden its spectrum of connectivity-related services.

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“The Bifrost project is in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030 roadmap, which includes growing our connectivity platform, and will strategically strengthen and broaden the Group’s play across the spectrum of data communications, from network infrastructure, data centres to wireless 5G connectivity,” he says.

The Bifrost Cable System is the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the west coast of North America via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea. 

Measuring over 15,000km, the project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will be the largest capacity high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America.

Shares in Keppel Corporation closed 2 cents or 0.37% lower at $5.46 on April 8.