January 10, 2001 - Alcatel has been awarded a contract by FLAG Telecom to design, manufacture and install the FLAG North Asian Loop (FNAL) submarine cable network linking Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.


This link will form the Western leg of a new six fiber pair, multi-terabit pan-Asian ring network, the North Asian Loop.

The eastern leg of the North Asian Loop, connecting Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, is constructing by Level 3 Communication. Level 3's  North Asian Loop is also being installed by Alcatel together with Fujistu.

Level 3 will owns three fiber pairs on the new system, which will be referred to as 'Tiger'. The other three fiber pairs on the new system will be owned by FLAG Telecom and branded FNAL (FLAG North Asian Loop).

The diverse ring system will be over 10,000 kilometres in length and will be managed and operated by FLAG Telecom. Total cost of the entire system is estimated to be approximately US$900 million.

The Hong Kong-Korea-Japan cable is based on dense wavelength division multiplexing technology (DWDM), and the system is designed to provide optimal capacity at 3.84Tbit/s, carried by 64 wavelengths at 10Gbit/s on six fiber pairs.

Alcatel has carried out several successful demonstrations with FLAG Telecom to prove Alcatel's capability to handle a transmission of 68 wavelengths at 10Gbit/s on a loop over 6,600 km.

The network is to be constructed from two segments, connecting the submarine stations of Wada in Japan, Pusan in Korea and Hong Kong (Tong Fuk) in China. The total length of the system will span approximately 5,000 km.

The construction of the Eastern link of this network is at an advanced stage and the cable landing in Hong Kong has already been successfully completed.

The two networks together will benefit from a totally secured ring configuration with full redundancy, ensuring the users total security for their data and voice traffic, over a distance of about 10,000 km.