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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 03, 2008

First Phase of Trans-Pacific Express Cable Ready for Service

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

The first phase of the 18,000 kilometer (more than 11,000 mile) fiber-optic undersea cable dubbed ‘The Trans-Pacific Express’ submarine cable is now ready for service. The mainland of China, South Korea and Taiwan are now directly connected with the continental United States.
Originally announced as a 5.12 terabit system in December 2006, the cable system has increased in capacity, and when fully deployed, when phase two is completed, TPE will be a 6 terabit submarine cable system.
The six international telecommunications carriers initially investing in the Trans-Pacific Express Submarine Cable Consortium are the China NetCom, China Telecom (News - Alert), China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom and Verizon Business.
These companies jointly agree that this could be one of the most aggressive submarine cable builds in the world. They set a target of finishing this project at, or during, the third quarter of 2008. Tyco Telecommunications acted as the prime supplier for this cable system.
Tyco Communications is an integrated supplier of undersea optical networks as well as major-city collocation and data center facilities. The company claims that they have designed, manufactured, and installed more than 80 undersea fiber optic systems around the world.
The connection joining USA and China will also incorporate Japan with the help of NTT Communications. The TPE cable system will add a submarine cable link to Japan giving the TPE cable system six landing sites - one in Japan, two in mainland China, and one each in Taiwan, South Korea and the United States.
The cable will play a significant role in driving new development for international telecommunications in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new cable is also expected to fasten up e-commerce between China and USA as the present system makes it impossibly slow to access U.S. sites from China. The potential of e-commerce between these two countries is huge. Last year alone Chinese Internet users spent about $500 million in online advertising and $75 billion in e-commerce.

Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi