Some of the top telecommunications companies in Asia strengthened their bandwidth capabilities with the recent launch of the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) system.

The 8,900 km cable system connects seven Asian countries and territories. The telecom companies operate in Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Japan with the option to link up Thailand. The companies form a global consortium called Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) consortium.

The consortium said the cable system offers low latency connectivity between Asia and the US, particularly through the Singapore-US connectivity. It also offers added resiliency as it avoids the earthquake-prone zone in North Asia.

The consortium includes Brunei International Gateway Sendirian Berhad (BIG), China Mobile International Ltd. (CMI), China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom), China Telecom Global Limited (CTG, an affiliate of China Telecommunications Corporation), Donghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. (a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom, Co., Ltd.), Globe Telecom, Inc., Google, KDDI Corporation, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin a subsidiary of PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Tbk), and TOT Public Co., Ltd. (TOT).

Market demand

The US$400 million cable system was supplied by TE SubCom and NEC Corporation. It consists of six fibre pairs with the initial design capacity of 28 terabits per second for bandwidth-intensive applications such as Internet TV, online games and enterprise data exchange. This capacity translates to simultaneous streaming of up to three million high-definition videos.

"The SJC system signals a milestone for the seven Asia Pacific countries in the consortium as it will set a new benchmark in global data and information connectivity. The SJC is interconnected seamlessly with the latest transpacific cable, and which together will deliver the lowest latency connectivity between Asia and the U.S., specifically from Singapore to Los Angeles," said Ooi Seng Keat, spokesperson for the SJC consortium and vice president, Carrier Services International Business Unit, Group Enterprise, SingTel.

Ooi added that since the cable system avoids the earthquake-prone region of Asia, it provides added resiliency to the telecom operators and allows them to offer cable diversity and reliability in the event of a cable breakage in other undersea networks.

"Equipped with the highest available transmission speed for an undersea cable network, the SJC will be able to carry more bandwidth-intensive applications which can transform the way enterprises and consumers in the region work, live, learn and play. The SJC's huge bandwidth will be able to meet the capacity needs of future applications and innovative solutions, and spur the development of information and communications technology in the region," he added.

Shunichiro Tejima, senior vice president, NEC, said the system "can better serve the growing demand for more bandwidth in Asia and beyond."