Unity Consortium announced on February 26, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan that they have executed agreements to build a new high-bandwidth Trans-Pacific cable linking the United States and Japan, the Unity Trans-Pacific Cable System. The construction of Unity Trans-Pacific cable will cost an estimated US$300 million.
Unity Consortium consists of six international companies, including Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel. Amazingly, the search engine Google shows up in the Unity Consortium, to build and operate its own Trans-Pacific infrustructure. And Bharti Airtel follows its domestic competitors Tata Communication and Reliance Communication to dominate the Trans-Pacific capacity market. Of course, Global Transit is a emerging and new player in the Trans-Pacific submarine networks.
The new Trans-Pacific cable system name Unity was chosen to signify 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.
The Unity Trans-Pacific cable system will address broadband demand by providing much needed capacity to sustain the unprecedented growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the United States. Unity is expected to initially increase Trans-Pacific lit cable capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add up to 7.68 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.
The Construction underway is to build 10,000 km linear cable system with a capacity of up to 7.68 Tbps to enhance Trans-Pacific connectivity
This Unity Trans-Pacific cable is about 10,000 Km, provides linear connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast network points of presence. At Chikura cable landing station, Unity Trans-Pacific cable system will be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia.
The Unity consortium selected NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications to construct and install the system during a signing ceremony held in Tokyo on February 23, 2008. Construction will begin immediately, with initial capacity targeted to be available in the first quarter of 2010.
The new five fiber pair cable system can be expanded up to eight fiber pairs, with each fiber pair capable of carrying up to 960 Gigabits per second (Gbps). By having a high fiber count, Unity transpacific cable system is able to offer more capacity at lower unit costs.
Compared with TPE transpacific subsea cable system which is expected to be ready for service in late 2008 and landed in Shin Maruyama, Unity transpacific cable system will offer PoP-PoP connectivity with lower latency between Japan and the U.S., as well as lower cost.