Consortium to launch new trans-Pacific cable

A consortium of six companies are to invest $300 million in a new trans-Pacific cable linking the west coast of the US to two landing stations in Japan.

The FASTER cable network is backed by SingTel, China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google and KDDI.

Scheduled for completion in Q2 2016, the six-fibre-pair cable will boast a design capacity of 60Tbps. The consortium claims the cable will be able to transmit an equivalent of 12,000 high-definition movies every second across the Pacific Ocean.

The consortium has secured NEC Corporation as the system supplier.

The project looks set to enhance connectivity between Japan, where it lands in Chikura and Shima, and the US, where it will serve Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

“It will facilitate the delivery of broadband-heavy applications, video and contents to meet the future needs of consumers and enterprises. This cutting-edge cable system will enable SingTel to provide our customers with greater network diversity and resilience, and reinforce our position as the leading provider of international data services in the region,” said Ooi Seng Keat, VP, carrier services of SingTel Group Enterprise.

The project marks a period of major investment in trans-Pacific connectivity. Earlier this year, another consortium – also including SingTel and China Telecom – revealed plans for the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable system linking 17 countries between south east Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe. The project is due to go live in 2016.

The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) cable, linking China to south east Asia, is also due to be ready for service in 2015, linking Malaysia and Japan, with landings in six countries along the way. This project is also backed by Google and China Telecom.

Finally, Global Cloud Xchange is planning to launch a four-fibre-pair system deployed with 100G technology between Tokyo, Japan, and Silicon Valley in the US. This is expected to be ready for service in 2014.

For Capacity’s latest analysis on the Asian telecoms market, click here.

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