AT&T and NTT signed their construction and maintenance agreements on February 28, 2008, and March 14, 2008 respectively to participate in the TPE Consortium.
The construction and maintenance agreement for TPE was originally executed in December 2006 by the six initial parties of TPE Consortium: China Netcom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom, and Verizon Business. Over the last 15 months, the consortium has shepherded the 18,000-km Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) fiber-optic submarine communications cable between the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.
With the addition of NTT, the TPE cable system will add a subsea cable link to Japan, and the sixth landing station in Shin Maruyama. TPE is designed originally to have five cable landing stations at Qingdao and Chongming in mainland China, Tanshui in Taiwan, Keoje in South Korea and Nedonna Beach in the United States.
The TPE cable system has a design capacity of up to 5.12 Tbits/sec, making it the first multi-terabit optical cable directly linking the U.S. mainland and China as well as other East Asia countries.
The additional link to Japan is expected to be completed in March 2009, and corresponding Japan-to-U.S. link is expected to be completed in early 2010 (subject to regulatory approvals).