Sunday, April 4, 2010

New 4.8 Tbps Trans-Pacific Unity Cable Ready for Service

Unity, a consortium of six international companies, together with its suppliers NEC Corporation and TE SubCom (formerly Tyco Telecommunications), announced that the new Trans-Pacific Unity submarine cable system is ready for service.

The 9,620 km Unity cable system is architected with five fiber pairs and is designed to deliver up to 4.8 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific, with each fiber pair having a capacity of up to 960 Gbps. It provides direct connectivity between Chikura, located on the coast near Tokyo, and West Coast network Points-of-Presence in Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Jose. At Chikura, Unity is seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia.

Members of the Unity consortium include Bharti Airtel, Global Transit (a Kuala Lumpur based telecommunications group), Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet (formed from the merger of Asia Netcom and Pacific Internet) and SingTel. The Unity cable system was constructed at a cost of approximately US$300 million.

"Following months of testing to ensure that the cable system meets the rigorous transmission standards specified, the Unity cable system is now ready to deliver the much anticipated capacity to meet the Trans-Pacific connectivity needs of members of the consortium," said Chris Wilson, Chairman of the Unity Executive Committee.

Separately, PacNet, which is Unity's largest investor, said its portion of the system comprises two of the five fiber pairs on the Unity cable system. EAC Pacific, which connects seamlessly to its EAC-C2C pan-Asia cable system at Chikura, provides up to 1.92 Tbps of capacity across the Pacific.

  • In December 2009, NTT Communications launched a new cable route linking Japan to the Trans-Pacific Express Cable Network (TPE), an optical fiber cable system that interconnects Mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and now Japan. TPE, which was built by a consortium comprising NTT Com, AT&T, China Telecommunications, China United Telecommunications, Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation and Verizon Business, began operating on September 30, 2008.

  • Also in 2009, NTT Com acquired 100% of Pacific Crossing's outstanding common shares. Pacific Crossing's PC-1 network is the second-largest trans-Pacific subsea cable system, spanning 21,000 km and connecting the U.S. and Japan. The system has landings at Harbour Pointe, Washington (near Seattle); Grover Beach, California (between San Francisco and Los Angeles); Ajigaura, Japan (near Tokyo); and Shima, Japan (near Osaka and Nagoya).

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