Sunday, January 14, 2007

Asia Netcom to Build new 2 Tbps Trans-Pacific Cable

Asia Netcom will add a new trans-Pacific portion to its regional submarine cable system, EAC. The new 23,500 km cable, which is expected to be completed by July 2008, consists of a northern route connecting Japan to the US, and a southern route linking the Philippines to the US via Guam and Hawaii. EAC Pacific will also include a subsea link between the Philippines directly with Japan, which will close the ring design and integrate the trans-Pacific infrastructure with the current system. The new EAC Pacific system will feature 4 fiber pairs, each capable of supporting a minimum design capacity of 2.56 Tbps using 64-wavelength DWDM capable of transporting 10 Gbps per wavelength.

Asia Netcom said it will announce its landing partners for the system by April 2007 and will complete vendor selection by May 2007.

EAC Pacific has received committed funds of $636 million through its partners, investors and debt holders which will cover the build and peak funding requirements for the new system. The system, which will use a new innovative capital structure that is hybrid of the "traditional" club cable and a "private cable" structure, will be operational in July 2008.

"In light of the recent events that followed the Boxing Day earthquakes off the coast of southern Taiwan, there is clearly a need for more diversity between Asia and the US," said Bill Barney, Asia Netcom's Chief Executive Officer. "EAC Pacific is designed to enhance the connectivity options of the fast growing South Asian region and create a dedicated expressway for that region to connect to the US as well as Japan and North Asia."

  • In August 2006, China Netcom Group completed the sale of its Asia Netcom to an Investor Group led by Ashmore Investment Management Limited, Spinnaker Capital Limited and Clearwater Capital Partners. The total value of the deal is at US$402 million.

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