NTT Com has revealed it will lead development of a new $430 million subsea cable linking Japan with Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
The operator said the 40Gbps Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) will be jointly constructed by NTT Com and Hong Kong-based NTT Com Asia, Telekom Malaysia, the Philippines' PLDT and Singapore's StarHub.
The 7,200km cable is scheduled to launch in June 2012. It will eventually have a total carrying capacity of around 15Tbps.
The cable will be integrated with OADM technology, and the owners will have the option to upgrade it to 100Gbps in the future.
The route has been mapped out to avoid the known subsea cable trouble spot of the Bashi channel, south of Taiwan, where natural disasters have caused significant service disruptions at least three times since 2006. The ASE will also be designed to withstand natural disasters.
Once the partners negotiate partnership agreements with other major Asian operators, more connections will likely be added to the ASE - including to Hong Kong in December 2012, and to mainland China and other Southeast Asian nations in the future.
NEC and Fujitsu have revealed that they have jointly won the contract to build the cable.
Under the agreements, Fujitsu and NEC will both manage the project. NEC will manufacture and install all submersible equipment – including repeaters, cables and power feeding equipment – while Fujitsu will provide submarine line terminal equipment and the management controller.