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Chinese Companies Join Google's $300M Trans-Pacific Fiber Optic Cable Project

August 18, 2014

China Mobile International and China Telecom Global have joined the consortium for the $300 million project, spearheaded by Google, for the construction of a 6,000 mile optical fiber connection across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the USA's West Coast, according to a statement from NEC Corporation, which is also a member of the consortium.

Called "FASTER" to represent its goal of addressing surging traffic demands, the Trans-Pacific cable system will use the latest generation high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies. It will be able to achieve capacities of 60 Tb per second—100 Gb per second over 100 wavelengths of six fiber pairs—as it transmits data from the USA to the Japanese cities of Chikura and Shima.

NEC says FASTER will be connected to neighboring cable systems on both exit points, extending its capacity in Asia well beyond Japan. On the American coast, it will extend into a system of US hubs, covering an area from Los Angeles to as far north as Seattle.

The FASTER system has the largest design capacity ever built across the Pacific, noted the consortium executive committee's chairman Woohyong Choi. In his words, it is the biggest one out of hundreds of submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world.

Besides Google and the two Chinese companies, the consortium also includes Japanese mobile carrier KDDI, Singapore's SingTel and Malaysia's Global Transit, with the NEC Corporation having been picked as the system supplier. Construction is set to begin immediately, with the FASTER cable system expected to be operational by the summer of 2016.

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