The first trans-Pacific submarine cable system, TPC-1 (Trans Pacific Cable 1), was put into servie on on June 19, 1964. It's a submarine coaxial cable linking Japan, Guam, Havaii and mainland U.S.A. via Hawaii, with a small capacity of only 128 telephone lines. After that, many transpacific submarine cable systems were built continuously.
Now, the in-service transpacifc submarine cable systems include AAG, China-US CN, Japan-US CN, Pacific Crossng 1, Southern Cross Cable Network, Telstra Endeavour, TGN Pacific, TPC-5, TPE, Unity, etc.
The Asia-America Gateway (AAG) is the first submarine cable system linking South East Asia directly with the USA, provides connectivity between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the US West Coast . The AAG submarine cable system spans 20,000km and uses the latest Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technologies with a minimum design capacity of 1.28 terrabits per second.The AAG submarine cable system has significant advantages over the traditional trans-Pacific routes (via the North Pacific) as it avoids the areas most prone to seismic activity off the Taiwan region, which have previously resulted in damage to undersea cables and network disruptions. The AAG submarine cable system was ready for service on Nov. 10, 2009.
China-US CN (China-US Cable Network or CUCN) is the first submarine cable system with direct cable routes linking the U.S. and China, reaching several countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This trans-pacific subsea optical fiber cable system was planned in 1997 and put into service in early 2000, constructed by a consortium including AT&T, China Telecom, NTT, KT, CHT etc.. China-US CN subsea cable consists of four optical fiber pairs in its northern trans-pacific trunk between Chongming cable landing station and Bandon cable landing station, and southern trans-pacific trunk between Shantou cable landing station and San Lius Obispo cable landing station, as well as the western and eastern trunks linking Shantou- Chongming, and Bandon-San Lius Obispo respectively, with branches to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Guam. China-US CN was designed with 8x2.488 Gbps (STM-16) SDH over DWDM, a total of 80 Gbps trans-pacific system capacity with SDH self-healing ring protection. China-US CN was the largest trans-pacific subsea cable system as of its commencement of service.
Japan-US CN (Japan-US Cable Network or JUSCN) is the first high capacity trans-pacific subsea cable system using DWDM technology of 10 Gbps per wavelength. Japan-US CN consists of four fiber pairs, each operating at 10 Gbps DWDM, with design capacity of 640 Gbit/s. Initially, Japan-US CN operated at 80 Gbit/s with two lit fiber pairs, expanding to 400 Gbps in mid 2001 by lighting the two remaining fiber pairs each with 16 wavelengths at 10 Gbps per wavelength, further upgrading to 1.28 Tbps in early 2008.
PC-1 submarine cable system is owned and operated wholy by Pacific Crossing, an NTT Communications Corporation company. This trans-pacific submarine cable system PC-1 netowrk consists of 4 optical fiber pairs, uses the state-of-the-art technology for optical transmission and submarine cable system, forms protected network rings, connecting the U.S. and Japan. The 21,000km PC-1 submarine cable system offers the highest reliability and the lowest latency across the Pacific. Supported by extensive backhaul into major U.S. and Japanese cities, Pacific Crossing’s infrastructure offers seamless interconnection to virtually every major international network operator for onward global access. With PC-1 network, Pacific Crossing delivers state-of-the-art capacity and managed network services at competitive prices to a growing customer base of carriers and media and information transport-intensive enterprise customers. PC-1 offers protected trans-pacific capacity up to 10Gbps (SDH and wavelength), as well as Ethernet services up to 10G LAN PHY and 10G WAN PHY. In July 2013, the PC-1 network was upgraded with 100G coherent technology, offering 100GE connections from Japan to the USA.
TGN-Pacific (Tata TGN-Pacific, a part of Tyco Global Network, ) was initially builded, designed and operated wholly by Tyco Telecommunications, completed in December 2002. TGN forms a self-healing ring connecting the U.S. to Japan, with north route linking Emi and Hilsboro, and south route linking Toyohashi, and branches to Piti Guam and Los Angeles. On May 3, 2005, Tata Communications(formerly VSNL) announced the acquisition of TGN for $130 million,or Rs 585 crore, in a cash deal.
TPE or Trans-Pacific Express submarine cable system is the second subsea cable system directly linking China and USA, aims to offer high capacity between USA and China as well as other Asian countries and regions. The consortium of TPE includes 6 initial parties from China Unicom and China Netcom (which are consilidated as China Unicom), China Telecom, Verizon Business, Korea Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, sharing the joint investment of US$ 500 million and equal rights of vote and capacity ownership. NTT and AT&T participated in the consortium in March 2008. TPE was completed in September 30, 2008. The design capacity of TPE cable system is 5.12Tbps, operating at 10Gbps DWDM.
Unity is a linear Trans-Pacific submarine cable system, ready for service on April 1, 2010. Unity cable is about 9,620 km between Chikura, Japan and Los Angeles, USA. Unity cable system consists of eight fiber pairs, has design capacity up to 7.68 Tbps, with each fiber pair operating at 96x10G DWDM system. Unity offers unique PoP-PoP connectivity between Japan and West Coast of USA. Unity Consortium comprises Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corp., Pacnet, and SingTel, represents a new type of consortium, born out of potentially competing systems, to emerge as a system within a system, offering ownership and management of individual fiber pairs for each consortium member. The initial construction cost of Unity cable system is approximately $300 million.
The New Cross Pacific [NCP] Cable System is a new generation high capacity fibre-optic submarine cable system across the Pacific Ocean directly connecting the US and Asia with landings in China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the US.
With a target Ready for Service date in the fourth quarter of the year 2015, the NCP is expected to serve as key infrastructure across the Pacific by providing the foundation for new bandwidth-intensive services which are already transforming people’s lifestyles and business practices. The NCP will be designed to interconnect with other cable systems in the region to maximize the throughput of data and the resilience of the Trans-Pacific transmission infrastructure.
The NCP consortium consists of Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and a US based company.
The TPC-5 Cable Network (TPC-5 CN) is the first self-healing trans-Pacific undersea optic fiber ring network. The TPC-5 CN consists two optic fiber pairs, stretching 22560 km, linking six cable landing stations in Japan, Guam, Hawaii and the US mainland. The TPC-5 CN forms a four-fiber-ring automatic protection switching network among the six cable landing stations, each fiber pair capable of 5 Gbps transmission.
The southern route of the TPC-5 CN was put into service in 1995, while its northern route was ready for service on December 31, 1996. The consortium member invested totally US$1.24 billion in the TPC-5 cable network.
The Southern Cross Cable Network forms a protected ring network among 9 cable landing stations (two each in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US mainland, and one in Fiji) and an access point in San Jose, California. The Southern Cross Cable Network contains 3 fiber pairs between Sydney and Hawaii, and 4 fiber pairs between Hawaii and the US West Coast, with almost 30,500 km in length, including 28,900km of submarine cable and 1,600km of terrestrial cable. The Southern Cross Cable Network is working with 10 Gbps DWDM system with design capacity of 1.2 Tbps, and the system is capable of upgrading with 40 Gbps DWDM technology. The Ready for Service (RFS) for Phase A of the Southern Cross network - comprising all nine stations and all segments except Segment D (from Hawaii to California) - was achieved on 15 November 2000. Completion of the fully protected loop network (RFS Phase B) was achieved on 28 February 2001.
On July 30, 2013, Southern Cross announced the completion of upgrade with Ciena's 100G technology, increasing its lit capacity to 2.6Tbps and system capacity to 12Tbps.
The Telstra Endeavour cable system is 100 per cent Telstra-owned submarine cable system between Sydney and Hawaii, the largest ever commissioned by an Australian company. The Telstra Endeavour provides an improvement in latency over existing submarine cable systems. At 90ms (Sydney-Hawaii) and 138ms (Sydney-Los Angeles via Endeavour and AAG), it is now the shortest path from Australia to the USA.
The Guam-Philippines Cable System (G-P Cable System) consists of two optical fiber pairs between the Batangas Cable Landing Station in the Philippines and the Tanguisson Cable Landing Station in Guam. The Guam-Philippines Cable System was ready for service in March 1999, with a design capacity of 40 Gbps (2x8x2.5 Gbps).
The America Samoa Hawaii Cable (ASH Cable) is the international fiber optic cable between American Samoa, Samoa and Hawaii and connects Samoa to the existing global telecommunications infrastructure networks.
The ASH Cable comprises of two cables installed between Samoa, American Samoa and Hawaii.
In addition, the Samoa-American Samoa Cable (SAS Cable) will provide inter-island communication, as well as enabling users in Samoa to access the ASH cable capacity and connect to the global networks.
The ASH cable project is significantly different from the traditional submarine cable provisioning. The Samoan islands are in a fortunate position to re-utilize the former PACRIM East cable between Hawaii and Auckland that runs along the seabed, about 100 miles east of Pago Pago in the island of America Samoa.
The PACRIM East cable was the original fibre optic cable across the Pacific, laid in the 1990’s. It had large capacity then but by today’s standards its capacity is insufficient to effectively service the needs of New Zealand and Australia. As such, larger capacity cables – Southern Cross and Telstra Australia’s Sydney-Hawaii cables with capacities of Terabits – service their needs.
The project involves recovering the PACRIM East cable from the seabed south east of American Samoa, cutting it and laying it into American Samoa at Pago Pago. During the pick-up process, additional cable will be recovered for re-laying between Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa.
Major cost saving has been achieved in relaying the fibre cable as only a small section of the cable is being recovered and re-laid.
The ASH/SAS Cable consists of three cable landing stations, i.e., the Keawaula Cable Landing Station in Hawaii, the Pago Pago Cable Landing Station in American Samoa, and the Apia Cable Landing Station in Samoa. The ASH/SAS Cable was ready for service on 28 May 2009.
Honotua is a 5000 Km submarine communications cable system that connects several islands of French Polynesia via Tahiti to Hawaii, USA. The international portion of the Honotua cable contains a single fiber pair designed with 32x10 Gbps DWDM system, with initial lit capacity of 2x10 Gbps. The domestic system comprises of 2 fiber pairs designed with 8x10 Gbps each, with an initial lit capacity of 2x2.5 Gbps. It has cable landing points at:
- Vaitape,Bora Bora,French Polynesia
- Uturoa,Raiatea, French Polynesia
- Huahine, French Polynesia
- Moorea, French Polynesia
- Papenoo,Tahiti, French Polynesia
- Spencer Beach,Kawaihae,
The Honotua Cable stretches 4,650 kilometers (2,890 miles) between Kawaihae, Hawaii and Tahiti, French Polynesia.
The baptismal name bestowed to this Polynesian project, HONOTUA, perfectly reflects the philosophy that lies behind it. HONO means link in the Tahitian language. It is the link between the human beings, peoples, cultures and civilizations. TUA means the open sea, the high seas. But it is also the back, the backbone. Thus HONOTUA is the link that relates Polynesian to the rest of the world, the backbone on which all the information channels interconnect.
The Palau-Guam submarine cable system initiated by Palau Telecom,l provides high capacity fiber optic connectivity between Palau and Guam, enabling connectivity to the US Mainland, the Asia Pacific region, Australia and New Zealand via interconnects with existing and planned submarine cable systems landed in Guam.
Palau Telecoms selects Xtera as the turnkey supplier of the Palau-Guam submarine cable system.
FASTER is a new trans-pacific cable system, landing at Chikura and Shima in Japan and seamlessly connecting many neighboring cable systems to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian locations, and reaching major hubs on the US West Coast covering the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.
FASTER features the latest high-quality 6-fiber-pair cable and 100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths optical transmission technologies, with an initial design capacity of 60Tb/s.
The FASTER consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and SingTel.
The total investment for the FASTER cable system is estimated to be approximately USD $300 million, and FASTER is targeted to be ready-for-service during the second quarter of 2016.
Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), the first submarine cable directly connecting Hong Kong and the US, spanning 12800 km, designed with the state-of-the-air C+L band optical technology, capable of equipping 240 channels of 100Gbps in a single fiber pair (100G * 240 WL).
The SEA-US cable system will link the five areas and territories of Manado in Indonesia, Davao in Southern Philippines; Piti in the territory of Guam; as well as Honolulu (on the island of Oahu), Hawaii; and Los Angeles, California in the continental U.S.
The system will be approximately 15,000 kilometers in length, stretched along a unique route and has been designed and engineered to bypass earthquake prone areas in East Asia, thereby providing a strategic diversity in the range of connectivity to transpacific networks with ensured stable connectivity.
The US $250 million SEA-US cable system is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.