FASTER, a new Trans-Pacific submarine cable system

A consortium of six global companies announced that they have signed commercial agreements to build and operate a new Trans-Pacific submarine cable system to be called “FASTER” with NEC as the system supplier.

The FASTER cable network will connect the United States to two landing locations in Japan. The total amount of investment for the FASTER system is estimated to be approximately $300 million.

In order to address the intense traffic demands for broadband, mobile, applications, content and enterprise data exchange on the Trans-Pacific route, FASTER will feature the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60 Tbps (100 Gbps x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber pairs).

This new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan and will feature seamless connectivity to many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations. Connections in the United States will extend the system to major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.

The six-company consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel. The name FASTER was adopted to represent the cable system’s purpose of rapidly serving surging traffic demands.

Woohyong Choi, chairman, FASTER executive committee said, “The consortium partners are glad to work together to add a new cable to our global infrastructure. The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world. The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

“NEC is proud to be the system supplier for the FASTER cable system, a state-of-the-art long haul system that will provide additional connectivity and capacity between regions of the world that increasingly require more bandwidth,” said Naoki Yoshida, general manager, NEC Submarine Network Division.

“Backed by more than 30 years of experience in constructing over 200,000 kilometers of cables, NEC is one of the world’s top vendors of submarine cable systems,” added Yoshida.

Construction of FASTER will begin immediately and the system is targeted to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016.

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