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Ten Telecoms Agree To Lay Asia-Pacific Submarine Cable

Ten regional telecommunications firms have signed an MOU to plan the implementation of a high capacity fiber-optic submarine cable network in the Asia-Pacific region, the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN-2).

The signatories of the MOU, announced yesterday in Kunming, included China Telecom, Chunghwa Telecom, Cable & Wireless HKT, Japan Telecom, Korea Telecom, KDD Corp., NTT Worldwide Network, Singapore Telecom, Telekom Malaysia and Telstra Corp. Ltd.

The APCN-2 cable will be ready in 2002 and will connect seven areas including Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Malaysia and Singapore, with additional landing points added later.

"This will be the second of two new state-of-the-art submarine cable systems that will further demonstrate Cable & Wireless HKT's commitment of building Hong Kong as the regional hub for Internet and e-commerce," said Alistair Grieve, deputy chief executive of Cable & Wireless HKT.

"Later this year we will begin enjoying the benefits of the world's longest submarine cable, the 38,000km SEA-ME-WE 3 cable network linking Hong Kong with South East Asia and the Middle East as well as Europe."

To provide upgradable transmission facilities, APCN-2 will use 640 Gbits/s per fiber-optic pair and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology. In addition, the APCN-2 will have a 'self-healing ring configuration' with four fiber-optic pairs designed to equip it with greater network resilience and route diversity.

Cable & Wireless recently renamed Hongkong Telecom in English as Cable & Wireless HKT to have a wider appeal in the region.