China-to-Taiwan submarine cable link to go live

Chunghwa Telecom (NYSE: CHT) confirmed Thursday that the build out of a new submarine cable linking Taiwan and the Chinese mainland has been completed.

An unnamed official at Chunghwa Telecom said that the two cable system that will link Xiamen in southern China with Kinmen, a small archipelago of islands controlled by Taiwan, will go live on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The Taiwan-based telco said it spent about TWD 100 million (USD 3.33 million) in the joint cable venture. Other participants in the new cable consortium include China's three major telcos: China Telecom (NYSE: CHA), China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) and China Unicom (NYSE: CHU).

Last September, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) approved the construction of a submarine cable linking Kinmen with China. The cable consortium said that the new cable connection would provide more reliable services and reduce cross-channel communications costs.

In March this year, the NCC approved plans to build an additional link between China and Taiwan that would be built by four Taiwanese operators: Chunghwa Telecom, TWM Solution, New Century Infocomm and Taiwan International Gateway Corp.

These new links between China and Taiwan are part of a growing trend in the Asia Pacific telecom market to increase submarine cable capacity via a number of new projects. Three other new cable consortium systems--the Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), the Southeast Asia Japan Cable (SJC), and the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) system--are set to begin offering services by 2014.

The end result of these new systems, says a recent TeleGeography report, is that traffic on intra-Asian submarine cable systems will rise 39 percent annually over the next six years.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article
- AFP has this article

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