Building of Asia Pacific Submarine Cable Begins

A high-performance submarine cable is being built to enhance communications in the Asia Pacific region. 

Stretching 9,400 kilometers, the Asia Direct Cable (ADC) will connect China (Hong Kong SAR and Guangdong Province), Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The ADC has been designed to enable vast amounts of data to be transmitted across the East and Southeast Asia regions. Multiple pairs of high-capacity optical fibers will allow the cable to carry over 140 Tbps of traffic. 

Construction of the cable is being carried out by the NEC Corporation and is expected to reach completion in the final quarter of 2022. The ambitious project is being led by the Asia Direct Cable Consortium, composed of leading communications and technology companies, including SoftBank, China Telecom, China Unicom, PLDT Inc., Viettel, CAT, Singtel, and Tata Communications.

A spokesperson for the consortium said: "ADC’s high capacity allows it to support increasingly bandwidth-intensive applications which are driven by technological advancements in 5G, the cloud, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will further enhance the expansion of communications networks in the region."

The ADC cable landing in Japan will be enabled through SoftBank's Maruyama Cable Landing Station (CLS). Maruyama CLS currently provides landing services for many submarine cables including the Trans-Pacific submarine cable system JUPITER.

JUPITER, which is expected to start operating later this year, is a fiber-optic submarine cable system that will connect Japan, the US, and the Philippines with a total extension of approximately 14,000 km. 

Chang Weiguo, one of the ADC co-chairs from China Telecom, said: “The ADC system provides the highest cable capacity and necessary diversity for Asia’s key information hubs, which will enable carriers and service providers to better plan their networks and services for a sustainable development."

SoftBank's Koji Ishii added: “This new system will contribute to drive the Asian ICT business growth as one of the core infrastructures in the region and to meet the evolving marketplace."

NEC has helped to create multiple submarine cable systems in the Asia Pacific region over the years, including the 9,500-km Japan-Guam-Australia cable system (JGA), the 10,500-km Southeast Asia–Japan 2 consortium (SJC2), and the 16,000-km Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE).

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