By Submarine Cable NewsFeed

A consortium of six international

companies has announced that they have executed agreements to build a high-bandwidth submarine fiber optic cable linking the United States and Japan. The

construction of the new Trans-Pacific infrastructure will cost an estimated US$300 million.

The new cable system — named Unity — 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 transpacific lit cable capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add up to 7.68 Terabits per second of bandwidth across the

Pacific.

“The Unity cable system allows the members of the consortium to provide the increased capacity needed as more applications and services migrate

online, giving users faster and more reliable connectivity,” said Unity spokesperson Jayne Stowell.

The Unity consortium is a joint effort by Bharti Airtel,

Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel. The 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.

This new 10,000-kilometer transpacific cable

will provide connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast network points of presence. At Chikura, Unity will

be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia, the consortium said in a statement.

The Unity consortium has

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. By having a high fiber count, Unity is able to offer more capacity at

lower unit costs, the consortium said in a statement.