Facebook, Amazon Pump Cash Into NTT’s Trans Pacific Cable

A consortium of high tech companies are to build the “Jupiter large-capacity low-latency optical submarine cable between Asia and the United States.”

The group of companies building the Pacific submarine cable system includes Japanese ICT giant NTT Communications Corp, as well as Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, PLDT, and PCCW Global.

The cable will stretch 14,000 kms (or 8,700 miles) and will offer Asia and the United States an initial design capacity of 60Tbps.

Juniper Cable

The cable will connect Japan, the Philippines to the United States. The two ‘landing points’ in Japan will be located at the Shima Landing Station in Mie Prefecture and the Maruyama Landing Station in Chiba Prefecture.

The US landing station will be in Los Angeles, and the Daet Cable Landing Station is located in the Philippines.

According to NTT, the Jupiter cable will be connected with three other undersea cables including NTT Com’s Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) and Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) cables.

These extra cable connections will “provide a redundant three-route structure linking major cities in Asia, Japan and United States with a secure and reliable international network.” This business continuity is important considering coastal areas of Japan can be prone to natural disasters or other unexpected problems.

The Juniper cable will also “feature a state-of-the-art submersible ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) employing WSS (wavelength selective switch) for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration.”

The 400 Gbps WDM system will be the fastest between Japan and United States and should cope with the increasing demands for bandwidth as the world consumes more online data. For example, the Juniper cable will be capable of transmitting a six-hour high-definition video (about three movies) in one second.

“To meet the growing demands for traffic, including internet, cloud services and coming 5G wireless communications, NTT Com is steadily expanding its cable capacity in Asia and the Trans-Pacific, including by connecting multiple cable systems to its own data centres and enhancing cable redundancy, to offer highly reliable global network services,” said NTT. “At the same time, NTT Com will further support the business-expansion initiatives of customers by merging its data centre, cloud and network services.”

The Juniper cable is expected to launch in early 2020 with an initial design capacity of 60Tbps, although this will be expanded as and when needed.

Cable Issues

The laying subsea cables is important as carriers and tech firms seek to cope with ever increasing consumption of online data.

A number of tech firms have already been heavily investing in this cable laying, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google and others.

In September Microsoft and Facebook laid the highest capacity subsea cable in the Atlantic. The ‘Marea’ cable connects Virginia Beach in the US with Bilbao in Spain, and is capable of carrying 160Tbps.

It comprises eight fibre optic cables surrounded by copper, plastic and waterproof protection and is 1.6 times the size of a garden hose.

But cables in the sea can be vulnerable. In 2013 three scuba divers off the coast of Egypt were arrested, after they were caught cutting an undersea cable used to connect citizens to the global Internet.

And last year Jersey Telecom (JT) in the Channel Islands had three of its four international submarine cables severed by a ship’s anchor in the English Channel.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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