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 a 20,000km and 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 consists of two fiber pairs from Hong Kong to Hawaii via the Philippines and Guam, three fiber pairs from Hong Kong to Singapore with branching units to Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand, and three fiber pairs from Hawaii to the US west coast.
The AAG cable system was intially designed with 96*10Gbps DWDM technology, with a minimum system capacity of 1.92 Tbps.
The AAG cable system was supplied by ASN and NEC, with a total cost of about US$560 million, completed and ready for service on November 10, 2009.
The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE) is a 15,400 km trans-pacific optical fiber submarine cable system connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the US.
The BtoBE consortium composes of China Mobile International, Facebook ( by its wholly-owned, direct subsidiary Edge USA) and Amazon (by its wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary Vadata). The BtoBE cable system is supplied by NEC and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) connects Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US.
PLCN offers the first direct submarine cable connectivity between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the US, spanning approxiamately 13000 km. PLCN offers the shortest RTD between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
PLCN is the first and currently the only submarine cable system in the world to deploy with C+L band optical technology. C+L band technology had been technically feasible when PLCN project was luanched in the end of 2015. The deployment of C+L band almost doubles the per fiber pair capacity and the system capacity in PLCN. Later in 2018, the Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology was available and more popularily selected as an alternative solution to increase system capacity while decreasing cost per bit.
The PLCN cable system consists of 6 fiber pairs, with 240 channels of 100Gbps in a single fiber pair (100G * 240 WL), 24 Tbps per fiber pair and 144Tbps for the whole system.
The PLCN cable system is co-building by Google, Facebook and PLDC (Pacific Light Data Communication). SubCom supplies the PLCN system with its industry-leading and innovative C+L band solutions.
Google owns one fiber pair in PLCN, connecting Hong Kong and the US with a branch to Toucheng, Taiwan on this fiber pair. Google acts as the landing party in the US and Taiwan. In the US, Google lands the PLCN cable at Equinix LA4 data center where houses the PFE and SLTEs of the whole PLCN cable system in the US territory.
Facebook owns one fiber pair in PLCN, connecting Hong Kong and the US with two branches to the Philippines on this fiber pair, landing at Baler, Aurora and San Fernando, La Union respectively. The Baler and San Fernando cable landing stations are owned by the Philippine state-owned firm Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
PLDC owns four out of the six fiber pairs in PLCN, acts as the landing party in Hong Kong. PLDC lands the cable at Deep Water Bay CLS in Hong Kong and installs their SLTEs at TMH, Telecom House data center in downtown, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Designed with Open Cable structure, each of Google, Facebook and PLDC can operate its own PLCN fiber pair(s) independently.
On Januray 29, 2020, Google and Facebook applied for a Special Temporary Authority (STA) to begin commercial operation of PLCN US-Taiwan and US-Philippine segments. The STA application was not approved by the FCC.
On April 8, 2020, the FCC granted the Request for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to begin commercial operation of PLCN US-Taiwan segment upon Google's application on April 2.
On June 17, 2020, Team Telecom recommended to the FCC, based on national security concerns, that the FCC partially deny the PLCN's direct connection between the United States and Hong Kong, and partially grant the license application for PLCN’s U.S. owners and for PLCN’s connections between the United States, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
The Hong Kong-America Cable System（HKA）is a 6-fiber-pair submarine cable connecting Hong Kong and the U.S. directly, with initial design capacity of 12.8 Tbps per fiber pair (for a total of 76.8 Tbps) using 100Gbps coherent DWDM technology.
The HKA Consortium consists of Facebook, China Telecom, China Unicom, RTI Express, Tata Communication and Telstra. The HKA supply contract is awarded to ASN. The HKA Consortium and ASN officially announced the launch of HKA cable project at PTC 2018.
The HKA cable system consists of a main trunk and three branching units:
China Telecom controls the cable landing station in Chung Hom Kok (GB21), Telstra controls the cable landing station in Toucheng.
Facebook is the landing party in the US, controls the Mancherster cable landing stations and the Hermosa Beach cable landing station (which is owned by RTI Infrastructure). Facebook will have exclusive control over the PFE located in RTI-I’s Hermosa Beach cable landing station, retain operational authority over the HKA landing facilities at Hermosa Beach and provide direction to RTI-I in all matters relating to the HKA system. The SLTEs for all of the HKA cable system’s fiber pairs will be installed at CoreSite’s One Wilshire and Wilshire Annex data centers in Los Angeles.
The JUPITER Cable System is approximately 14,600 km in length and consists of 5 fiber pairs with a design capacity of more than 60 Tbps. The JUPITER Cable System connects Maruyama, Japan; Shima, Japan; Los Angeles, California, USA; and Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines. As a new transpacific submarine cable route, the JUPITER Cable System will provide greater diversity of connections and enhanced reliability for customers, as well as optimal connectivity to data centers on the West Coast of the United States.
The JUPITER Cable Consortium include Amazon, Facebook, NTT, PCCW Global, PLDT and SoftBank.
JUPITER cable system consist of three main segments:
The JUPITER Cable System is scheduled to be ready for service by early 2020.
For more information about the Jupiter cable system, please visit JUPITER Cable System Overview.
FASTER is a 11629 km trans-pacific cable system, landing at Chikura and Shima in Japan, Tanshui in Taiwan and Bandon in the US, 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 consists of 6-fiber-pair cable, designed with 100Gbps x 100 DWDM technologies and an initial design capacity of 60Tbps.
The FASTER consortium is comprised of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit (Time dotCom), Google, KDDI and SingTel.
The total investment for the FASTER cable system is estimated to be approximately USD $300 million, supplied by NEC.
FASTER cable system has been ready-for-service during as of June 30, 2016.
The New Cross Pacific [NCP] Cable System is a 13000km 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.
The NCP cable system consists seven fiber pairs, initially deploying with 100Gbps DWDM technology and a total design capacity of 70Tbps.
The NCP consortium comprises China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation, Softbank and Microsoft, which signed Construction and Maintenance Agreement in October 2014. The Supply Contract for NCP cable system was awrded to TE SubCom.
The NCP project is Microsoft's first investment in international submarine cable system as a consortium member and the landing party in the United States. Microsoft builds a cable landing station in Pacific City, Oregon for the landing of NCP cable in the United States.
The Japan-US segment of the NCP cable system entered into commercial service on February 22, 2018. The whole NCP cable system was ready for service in January 2019, due to the delay in segment to Nanhui CLS and Lingang CLS in Shanghai, China.
Unity cable lands at Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles, with its SLTE housing at Coresite LA1 - One Wilshire carrier neutral data center, offering PoP-PoP connectivity.
Unity cable system consists of eight fiber pairs, initially designed with 96x10G DWDM system and design capacity of 7.68 Tbps.
Unity Consortium (Joint Builder) comprises Bharti Airtel (10%), Global Transit(10%), Google(20%), KDDI Corp.(10%), Pacnet (now Telstra, 40%), and SingTel (10%), which executed a Joint Building Agreement in February 2008. Unity Consortium represents a new type of consortium, Joint Build, 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.
Pacnet (now Telstra) owns two dedicated fiber pairs in the Unity cable system, and rebranded it as EAC Pacific.
Unity Consortium demonstrated Google's first investment in an international submarine cable system as the landing party in the United State for Unity. Google owns one dedicated fiber pair in the Unity cable system.
Unity cable system was jointly supplied by NEC and Tyco (now SubCom). The initial construction cost of Unity cable system is approximately $300 million.
In October 2013, Pacnet (now Telstra) upgraded the EAC Pacific (Unity) with 100G DWDM technology.
The SEA-US cable system links 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 SEA-US cable system spans approximately 15,000 kilometers in length, stretches 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 SEA-US cable system consists of two optical fiber pairs on each segment, with an initial configuration capacity of 1.6Tbps and a total design capacity of 20Tbps using 100-gigabit wavelength technology.
The investment cost for SEA-US cable system is approximately US $250 million. The SEA-US consortium consists of PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Globe Telecom, RAM Telecom International (RTI), Hawaiian Telcom, Teleguam Holdings (GTA), GTI Corporation (a member of the Globe Telecom group of companies) and Telkom USA.
The SEA-US cable system has been ready for service since August 2017.
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.
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.
China-US CN was early retired in Dec. 2016.
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.
The Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) 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 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.
The Southern Cross Cable Network is invested, owned and operated by Southern Crosss Cables Limited (SCCL,a Bermuda private limited company) which was owned indrectly by Spark NZ (50%), Singtel EInvestments (40%) and Verizon Business (10%). In 2018, Telstra acquired 25% stake in SCCN and substantial capacity on both the existing network and the new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable. As a result, SCCL is owned by Spark NZ (38.12%), Singtel EInvestments (30.49%), Telstra (25%) and Verizon Business (6.4%).
The Southern Cross Cable Network was originally designed to working with 10 Gbps DWDM and deliver 120Gbps of fully protected capacity (240Gbps across the network).
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 latest upgrades (Phase J) will increase total lit network capacity to approximately 12.8Tbps over the next few years. Following the introduction of the latest 100Gbps technology the current system potential is estimated at more than 22Tbps.
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.
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.
The Honotua Cable System 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:
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 Honotua Cable System is owned and operated by the government-owned OPT (Office des Postes et Télécommunications) of French Polynesia, supplied by ASN.
In 2008, OPT and the Hawaii-based Wavecom Solutions (then known as Pacific LightNet Inc., or PLNI) signed a Landing Party Agreement (LPA) which permits OPT to land Honotua at the Kawaihae Cable Landing Station located near Spencer Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 2012, Hawaiian Telcom completed the acquisition of Wavecom Solutions.
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.
SxS Cable System (SxS) is a 10,500-kilometer undersea fiber optic cable system directly connecting Guam and California, with an initial design capacity of more than 96 Tbps.
SxS cable system is privately invested by RTI Connectitivty (RTI-C). SxS will seamlessly interconnect with HK-G, JGA North, JGA South and SEA-US cable systems in a new purpose-built, RTI-owned facility in Guam.
The Hong Kong-Guam (HK-G) cable system is a 3,700 kilometer undersea cable connecting Tseung Kwan O (TKO), Hong Kong and Piti, Guam.
The HK-G consortium includes RTI (through its multiple subsidiaries) and Google (through its indirect subsidiary GU Holding Inc).
The HK-G cable system consists of 4 fiber pairs, with design capacity of 48 Tbps (12 Tbps per fiber pair). Google owns approximiately two thirds of a fiber pair on the HK-G cable system via spectrum sharing technology. RTI owns all the remaining capacity and fiber pairs.
The HK-G cable system is supplied by NEC. Furthermore, HK-G cable system utilizes capital from the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan’s ICT and Postal Services Inc. (Japan ICT Fund), along with syndicated loans from Japanese institutions including NEC Capital Solutions Limited, etc.
The H2 submairne cable system will be the first direct subsea cable between Sydney and Hong Kong (9,200km), with a branch to Los Angeles (12,500km) providing optimal diversity with existing Hawaiki cable.
The H2 cable system will provide the lowest latency from Australia across the Pacific Ocean, with the Sydney to Hong Kong branch carrying 15 Tbps per fibre pair and the Sydney to Los Angeles branch carrying more than 12.9 Tbps per fibre pair, and will follow a diverse route to the north of New Caledonia.
H2 cable seems a sister-cable of Hawaiki Cable. According to Linkedin, H2 Cable Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-based company. H2 CEO Georges Krebs still takes the role of Vise President Network and Technology at Hawaiki Cable Limited, while Mr. Rémi Galasso, the Founder and CEO at Hawaiki Cable Limited is the Chairman at H2 Cable.
H2 Cable awarded SubCom the contract to supply, design and install H2 submarine cable system.
The Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) will be the first subsea route to directly connect Singapore, Indonesia, and the U.S., and will have the capability to serve several markets in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The TPN cable project will be developed on terms that prioritize quality, high social and environmental standards, and financial sustainability.
The TPN subsea cable will be a critical element of the Indo-Pacific’s digital infrastructure, ultimately strengthening networks and increasing capacity while reducing internet costs in the region.
The TPN cable project is supported by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
The Southern Cross NEXT is a 13,483 km submarine cable system connecting Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, with branching units linking the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati.
The Southern Cross NEXT will be a high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, to be the lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to the United States.
The Southern Cross NEXT is an extension of the existing Southern Cross eco-system, with a design capacity of 72 Tbps.
The Southern Cross NEXT is expected to cost around US$300 million, invested by Southern Cross Cable Limited (a Bermuda private limited company), with its sister company Pacific Carriage Limited Inc (PCLI, a Delaware corporation) as landing party in the US, and its subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Pacific Island as landing party in corresponding countries.
Southern Cross Cable Limited was owned by Spark NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%). In December 2018, Telstra acquired a 25% stake in SCCN and substantial capacity on both the existing network and the new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable. As a result, SCCL is owned by Spark NZ (38.12%), Singtel EInvestments (30.49%), Telstra (25%) and Verizon Business (6.4%). There is similar ownership for Pacific Carriage Limited Inc, with Singtel's Optus Networks Pty Ltd replacing Singtel EInvestments.
The supply contract was awarded to ASN and was granted CIF (Contract In Force) in October 2019.
The Southern Cross NEXT project is well positioned to meet its target completion date of January 2022.