China Telecom, Google, KDDI, others to build new trans-Pacific submarine cable

The submarine cable industry just gained another new player as six major service providers have formed a consortium to build and operate a new trans-Pacific cable system to be called "FASTER," with NEC Corporation as the system supplier.

Participating companies include China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), KDDI and SingTel. According to these companies, the name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system's purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

Connecting the United States to two landing locations in Japan, the total amount of investment for the FASTER system is estimated to be about $300 million. FASTER will include six-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60 Terabits (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs).

Complete with landing stations at Chikura and Shima in Japan, the FASTER cable will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

The consortium said the building out of the FASTER network will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready for service during the second quarter of 2016.

FASTER is just one of a number of new trans-Pacific cables to emerge in recent years. Other submarine cables like UNITY offer service providers and other entities a five-fiber-pair trans-Pacific submarine communications cable that links Chikura cable station in Japan and One Wilshire, a major carrier hotel location in Los Angeles, for example.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Hibernia Networks, TE SubCom begin work on Express submarine cable system
GlobeNet wraps up submarine cable build between Miami and Colombia
Telstra Global adds 100G to Asia Pac UNITY submarine cable
CenturyLink traces San Juan Islands outage to severed submarine cable