Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) and five other international telecommunications carriers have signed an agreement to construct a new ultra high-speed submarine cable system linking the United States to Japan.
The other carriers involved in the project include Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation and Pacnet.
The US$300 million cable system, named Unity, will span 10,000 km across the Pacific Ocean, linking Chikura in Japan directly to Los Angeles in the United States. It is expected to be ready for service in the first quarter of 2010.
Using state-of-the-art Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology, it will support up to 960 Gbits per second per fibre-optic pair with a maximum of eight fibre pairs. By having a higher fibre count, it is able to offer more capacity at lower unit costs. Unity will have a potential design capacity of 7.68 Tbits per second, making it one of the highest capacity cables of its kind. This data rate is equivalent to more than seven million Internet users simultaneously having real-time access to a 1 Mb file.
Mr Mark Chong, SingTel's Executive Vice President for Networks, said: "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 United States."
"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. The Unity submarine cable network will help to further strengthen SingTel's position as Asia's leading communications company," he added.
NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications have been jointly awarded the contract to implement this project.