Singapore: Six international telecommunications carriers including Bharti Airtel have agreed to construct an ultra-high-speed submarine cable to carry Internet and other traffic between Japan and the US, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) said Tuesday.
SingTel has joined with Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corp and Pacnet for the $300-million project, SingTel said in a news release.
The cable system will link Chikura, Japan, with Los Angeles, a distance of 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles), it said, adding the cable will be ready for service in the first quarter of 2010.
“This new submarine cable network, with its high capacity and resilient transmission infrastructure, will be able to meet the strong demand for data, e-commerce and Internet traffic between Asia and the US,” said Mark Chong, SingTel’s executive vice president for networks.
“As it is connected to other cable systems in Asia, it will also provide access to other parts of the region and serve as an important cable diversity route.”
Internet service to millions of people across Asia was disrupted in December 2006 after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Taiwan disturbed several massive offshore submarine cables that link Asian countries with the US and beyond.
Industry observers said the incident showed that the region’s cable network is too fragile and overly reliant on connections to the United States.
Dylan Tan, SingTel’s corporate communications manager, said the main purpose of the new cable is to expand capacity between Japan and the US, while adding to diversity.
While the project is not a response to the earthquake, its route will avoid “certain hotspots” on the ocean floor, he said.
NEC Corp and Tyco Telecommunications have been jointly awarded the contract to implement the cable project, SingTel said.