AT&T ups capacity on the APCN2 submarine cable

To stay apace of growth in Asia-Pacific network traffic, AT&T (NYSE: T) is upgrading its network capacity on the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps.

The upgrade, which is expected to be completed by the second quarter in 2011, is part of AT&T's overall $1 billion 2010 global network investment centered on scaling its global network in addition to enhancing application delivery, mobility and cloud services for global companies. APCN2 is a major element of AT&T's global backbone, providing necessary diversity to support mesh capabilities and connectivity to other major trans-oceanic cable networks linking the USA, Europe, Australia and other parts of Asia.

Owned by a consortium of 14 different global service providers, including AT&T, APCN2 is a key undersea cabling network that spans 19,000 km and connects ten landing points across Asia Pacific, including in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan. In June, the APCN2 consortium tapped NEC to supply DWDM equipment to upgrade the network from 10 to 40 Gbps.

With research firm TeleGeography forecasting that more than $3 billion will be spent on building submarine cabling networks this year, it's clear that the market segment is going through a renaissance period. Unlike the submarine cabling systems land rush that took place at the beginning of this century to fulfill overhyped needs, the new upgrades like APCN2 reflect the end-user's insatiable appetite for bandwidth hungry applications such as online video and gaming.

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