Several Asian telcos and Google are to invest US$400million in a new subsea cable linking South East Asia to Japan aimed at providing the highest capacity connection link to-date. The South East Asia Japan Cable System (SJC) has a design capacity of 17 terabits per second with provision to be ramped up to 23 Tbps. As an example of its capacity, the bandwidth allows the SJC submarine cable system to handle 30 million high definition videos simultaneously.
The 8,300 km cable will link Singapore to Japan with branches to Indonesia, Philippines and Hong Kong initially. From Japan, it will be plugged into the recently commissioned trans-Pacific Unity cable to the USA, besides a branching link to Guam which is becoming an alternative cable junction linking Asia to USA.
Comprising 6-fiber pairs, the SJC cable is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2012, and is believed to be modeled after the Unity business concept providing autonomy in operation for partners to the initiative.
The decision to proceed with this landmark project, no doubt, has been prompted by growing demand not only from Internet traffic but also from the surge in telco TV, games and enterprise data.
An earlier report by TeleGeography shows that international Internet traffic has not been affected by the recent economic meltdown. In fact, international traffic growth was up 79 percent in 2009, from 61 percent in 2008.
By end 2009, fixed broadband in the Asia Pacific is expected to grow 17.3 percent to 182 million subscribers clocking billings of US$44.8 billion, according to Frost & Sullivan. The next generation networks in progress in South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia will further fuel growth in fixed broadband, not counting the phenomenal surge in mobile broadband.
So this cable will cost a bit over $48,000 per kilometer. This is the first time I have seen the capacity of the cable described in terms of the number of HD television streams that can be supported; previously, it was always the number of simultaneous telephone calls.