TOKYO (04/25/2000) - A group of 26 international telecommunications carriers has taken a big step toward improving Asia's telecommunications infrastructure with the signing of an agreement that should see a new regional undersea fiber-optic network, the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), in operation by the end of September 2001.
At a meeting in Singapore late yesterday, the carriers signed a construction and maintenance agreement for the APCN2 system, construction of which is expected to cost US$1 billion. The document is the first legal step in realizing the new cable, which until yesterday had been planned under a memorandum of understanding. The agreement contains the technical specifications of the system and describes the legal relationship among the participating carriers and issues such as how costs will be shared and maintenance work carried out.
When it is completed, the APCN2 will be a 19,000-kilometer system that links Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore in a ring. Initially, capacity will be set at either 80- or 160G bits per second (bps), but the system will be able to be upgraded to 2.56T bps with the use of WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) technology.
In addition to connecting in to the domestic telecommunications networks of the countries where it lands, the cable will also interconnect with several other regional fiber-optic networks, including the China-US Cable Network, the SEA-ME-WE 3 Cable and the Japan-US Cable Network.
Initial partners in the cable system include Advantel (Hong Kong), China Telecom Ltd., China United Telecommunications Co., Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd.
(Taiwan), Concert Communications Co. (Bermuda), Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd. (Hong Kong), Cable & Wireless Global Network (Ireland), Global One (Japan), Japan Telecom Co. Ltd., KDD Corp. (Japan), Korea Telecom Corp., Koninklijke KPN NV (Netherlands), Layer 2 Communications Group Ltd. (British Virgin Islands), MCII (U.S.), Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (U.S.), New Century Infocomm Co.
(Taiwan), NTT Communications Corp. (Japan), OneLink Cable Network (Hong Kong), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., StarHub Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), Taiwan Fixed Net, Teleglobe Communications Corp.
(Canada), Telstra Global Networks (Bermuda), Telekom Malaysia Bhd. and Williams Communications Group Inc. (U.S.).