Japan’s NEC and KDDI have been busy lately, working together with American company TE SubCom to build a South-East Asia Japan Cable (SJC) that will speed up Internet access between Japanese and Singaporean servers.
Cables have already begun to be loaded onto ships in Fukuoka’s city of Kita Kyuushuu, and in Japan there is also work being done lifting earth in order to install new cables linked to this project.
What is the SJC project really about?
The SJC project, which heavily involves telecoms operator KDDI, sets out to link Japan & Singapore with undersea fibre optic cables, while on the way branching out to China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Brunei, providing speedier Internet access between all nations of South East Asia. The undersea cables reach a total length of around 9,000km, and utilize the latest DWDM technology to enable an initial capacity of 16Tbps. The construction costs for the cable amount to around 400 million dollars, and the cable is expected to go online mid-2013. The new construction is expected to help cope with the surge of new demand for high-speed telecommunications in the Asian region.
KDDI’s Network Technology HQ International Network Department Chief Hiromitsu Todokoro states: "An undersea cable which cuts through the ocean costs around 300~400 hundred million dollars to construct, and requires over 10 hundred million in maintenance costs per year. Usually telecommunication companies from a cooperative body to invest in this, and this requires a long term relationship between participating companies of around 20~25 years. With the new cable construction for the SJC project, from an economic and technological standpoint, we thought it best to switch over completely to the new cable from the old one. The reasons for this are increase in Internet traffic, a trend towards higher capacities due to multiple wavelength technology, and the decrease in communications delay brought about by new cables, as well as decreased maintenance fees for the cables thanks to new developments in their manufacture.”
Of course, a project with this kind of scope can’t be easily completed by just one company, and many other enterprises have come to lend a helping hand. In addition to KDDI, Global Telecom (Philippines), Google (USA), SingTel (Singapore), PT Telkom International (Indonesia), China Telecom (China), China Mobile (China), Donghwa Telecom (Hong Kong), BIG (Brunei), TOT (Thailand) have all agreed to lend their support to the project.
Senior expert Shota Masuda at NEC’s Ocean Systems Enterprise Group stated that "with undersea cable systems, as soon as demand reaches half the total capacity of the cable, work on the next cable must be started." In 2013, demand is expected to reach half of the capacity laid out during 2009, and worldwide traffic is also inclining at a steady rate. Asia’s economic growth has also carried with it a huge surge in demand for Internet access in Asia and the Pacific region.