A consortium of major Asian operators have commenced construction of the over $400 million Southeast Asia-Japan cable (SJC).
The SJC will link Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and Singapore, with an option to extend it to Indonesia and Thailand.
It is being built by NEC and SubCom for the SJC Consortium, which has members including China Mobile, China Telecom, Google, Japan's KDDI and Singapore's SingTel.
Also involved are Google, Indonesia's PT Telkom, Thailand's TOT, the Philippines' Globe, Brunei International Gateway, Telemedia Pacific and Chunghwa subsidiary Donghwa Telecom.
The cable will span 8,900km – longer than the planned 8,300km route from when the project was first revealed in late 2009 – and will increase to 10,700km if the Indonesian and Thai connections are added.
Announcing the start of construction, the companies said the cable is on track to be operational in the second half of 2013.
SJC will have an initial design capacity of over 15Tbps. The consortium has previously stated that this capacity could be upgraded to 23Tbps in the future, making it potentially the highest-capacity subsea cable.
Multiple operators had joined the consortium since its inception, but some have also left – Reliance Globalcom and SingTel-Bharti joint venture Network i2i had both previously been named as members.