MARCH 25, 2008 -- AT&T (search for AT&T) and NTT Communications Corp. (search for NTT Communications) recently signed construction and maintenance agreements to participate in the Trans-Pacific Express Consortium.
The two carriers join the six original consortium members: 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.
AT&T and NTT signed their agreements on February 28, 2008, and March 14, 2008, respectively. With the addition of NTT, the TPE cable will add a subsea cable link to Japan. TPE landing sites also are located in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States.
The TPE cable 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 East Asia.
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).