NEC to build cable system linking Okinawa to mainland Japan

19 February 2019 | James Pearce

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NEC has won a contract from Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company to design, engineer, and build a subsea cable system linking the island of Okinawa with Kagoshima, Japan.

The subsea cable system, which will be provided as a turnkey solution, is set to being operation in 2020. It will span 760km, connecting Nago City in Okinawa to Hioki City in Kagoshima.

NEC aid the cable system, which it will fully test and implement from design-phase onward, will offer the latest optical wavelength transmission systems with a maximum transmission capacity of 80Tbps.

It is not the first cable system to link Okinawa Prefecture, which is comprised of more than 150 islands in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan's mainland. There has also been the KDDI-owned Miyazaki-Okinawa Cable and Japan Information Highway cable systems. The new cable NEC is to build will offer an alternative route to these cable systems while also meeting growing demand for communications between the Okinawa, Kyushu and Honshu regions of Japan.

Okinawa is also seeing more data centres built in the region, meaning there is greater demand for connectivity in and out of the prefecture.

NEC has been a leading supplier of submarine cable systems for more than 50 years. It has built more than 300,000 km of cable, spanning the earth 7.5 times, it claims. Subsidiary OCC Corporation will be responsible for manufacturing the new cable system.

Last year, the company announced a number of new cable contracts. It was picked by Facebook, AWS and China Mobile to build the new Bay to Bay Express Cable System, linking Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.

Hemisphere Cable Company (HCC) and NEC also announced plans to build a new submarine cable called WASACE 1 connecting Europe to Latin America via Cape Verde. NEC also completed construction of Angola Cable’s South Atlantic Cable System (SACS0 linking Angola to Brazil.