Consortium to build 14,000km undersea cable linking Asia and US

November 03, 2017 13:56
The JUPITER cable system will connect Japan, the Philippines and the United States. Graphic: PCCW Global

A consortium of six companies has been established to construct and maintain an undersea cable linking Japan, the Philippines and the United States.

Japan’s NTT Communications Corporation and SoftBank, US technology giants Facebook and Amazon, the Philippines’ PLDT, and Hong Kong’s PCCW Global recently signed an agreement to build the JUPITER optical submarine cable, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The cable system will have a landing point in Los Angeles, California, with two landing stations in Japan (Shima in Mie Prefecture and Maruyama in Chiba Prefecture) and one in the Philippines (Daet, Camarines Norte).

The undersea cable, running a total length of 14,000 kilometers, has an initial design capacity of 60Tbps, which is sufficient for supporting the latest technologies such as 4K/8K videos, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications, as well as Internet of Things (IOT) applications.

NTT Com will also connect its Asia Submarine-cable Express, Asia Pacific Gateway and Pacific Crossing-1 cables to the JUPITER system to provide another three-route structure linking up major cities in Asia, Japan and the US.

The operation of the JUPITER cable is expected to be launched by early 2020.

With the increasing popularity and widening application of new technologies such as video streaming and cloud service, major tech players are stepping up their investments in optical fiber cable systems to ensure network stability and speed.

Google has made heavy investments in submarine cables. Last year it partnered with Facebook and Pacific Light Data Communication to drape the first undersea cable PLCN connecting Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Likewise, Microsoft has teamed up with Facebook to build an undersea cable across Atlantic Ocean, linking up the US with Span. Construction of the cable, with a length of about 6,600 kilometers, was completed in October.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 2

Translation by Jonathan Chong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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