Japan's largest international telecommunications carrier, KDD, has agreed to subscribe to fibre-optic cable capacity worth $US100 million from operator Global Crossing, the latter company announced.
The company has initially committed to take space on the Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) cable operated by Global Crossing unit Asia Global Crossing but is also in discussions to take space on the company's Atlantic and domestic US network, it said in a statement.
A spokesman for KDD added that the company will spend $20 million on capacity on PC-1 but has yet to agree on how much bandwidth that represents. The remaining $80 million will be spent on acquiring capacity on the rest of Global Crossing's network - a move that will expand KDD's backbone into Europe and major cities in the US.
Despite having a stake in the soon-to-be-launched Japan-US Cable Network, the KDD spokesman said company projections of future traffic needs have led it to acquire the additional capacity. "We are predicting a very large increase in demand in the near future," he said, adding this is mainly as a result of the explosive growth of the Internet.
PC-1 is a new, high bandwidth fiber-optic cable that runs in a 21,000-kilometer ring between the US and Japan. The four-fiber pair, self-healing ring will have a capacity of 80G bits per second (bps) when it enters service in 2000 but the operators are eyeing an upgrade to 640G bps by employing dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology.
The northern portion of the ring, which runs between Washington state and Ajihaura in Japan's Ibaraki prefecture, has been completed and entered service in late December when it was connected with a cable operated by Global Access. This latter link runs from the PC-1 landing point in Ajihaura directly into the center of Tokyo and means carriers wishing to use the PC-1 cable need to lease a connection to the Global Access node in Tokyo - a much cheaper alternative than leasing a line to the landing point on the coast.
The PC-1 cable will interconnect with the East Asia Crossing (EAC), a new cable planned by Asia Global Crossing to connect Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and China. A contract to construct the first part of the cable was awarded to KDD subsidiary KDD Submarine Cable Systems in late December.
Asia Global Crossing is a joint venture of Global Crossing, Softbank and Microsoft created earlier this year to build a high capacity undersea telecommunications network in Asia. Its assets include the 58 per cent interest in PC-1 previously held by Global Crossing.