KDD Opens Japan Information Highway

In a significant boost for the nation’s domestic
multimedia infrastructure, KDD Corp. has brought online its high-capacity optical-fiber submarine cable, dubbed the Japan Information Highway (JIH).

The undersea JIH cable extends for a total of 10,300 km and links all the
main islands of the Japanese archipelago. It became operational on April 1.

KDD invested some 130 billion yen (US$1.08 billion) in construction of the
100-gigabits per second (100 Gbps) cable, which forms a loop around Japan’s
three most heavily populated islands: Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. A dual
branch at the loop’s northern portion connects Hokkaido, while a single
branch at its southern portion links Okinawa.

KDD Submarine Cable Systems (KDD SCS) began the main phase of cable laying
in May 1998. Five cable ships, including the newly commissioned KDD Pacific
Link, were used for the work, which was completed in November.

The undersea cable has 17 “landing stations” (land-based linkages)–one
each on Shikoku, Hokkaido, and Okinawa islands, two on Kyushu island, and 12
on the main island Honshu.

The JIH also links with about a dozen existing or planned international
undersea cables that connect Japan with the US, Asia, and Europe.

According to KDD, “the Japan Information Highway is designed to make Japan a
hub of the Asia-Pacific region and further improve the Japanese
telecommunication infrastructure in anticipation of the multimedia age.”

The cable consists of three fiber pairs, with 14 wavelengths of 2.5G bps
each per pair. Total JIH line capacity is 100G bps, the equivalent of 1.2
million telephone lines.

The JIH utilizes wavelength division multiplexing technology with very
broadband optical amplifiers developed by KDD R&D Laboratories. To ensure high reliability, it employs “double-landing” and “double-branching” and incorporates a self-healing function that can instantly and automatically recover from a failure.

KDD will wholesale capacity on JIH to other Japanese and foreign carriers.
By the end of May, KDD intends to integrate the JIH cable with its own
nationwide 9,000-km high-speed optical-fiber network that runs along the
nation’s highways.

KDD planned its domestic network with the ever-increasing transmission
capacity and speed demands of Internet, corporate extranet, and video
communication uses in mind.

“Optical wavelength division multiplexing transmission and other
leading-edge optical-fiber technologies will enable us to expand the
capacity of the JIH cable and [our land-based] optical-fiber cable network,
thereby assisting both to cope with increased demand, ” said KDD.

The company’s next major infrastructure project is the KDD Terabit Highway
(KTH21). If this year’s tests are successful, KDD intends to switch its
existing domestic trunk lines to this next-generation 1-terabit (1,000
gigabits) per second IP (Internet protocol) network by 2005, and its major
international trunk lines by 2010.

KDD Corp. was created through a merger of former government-controlled
international carrier KDD (Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co., Ltd.) with domestic
telecommunications carrier Teleway Corp. on December 1, 1998.

KDD launched domestic long-distance services last summer, following
abolishment of the KDD Law that had restricted it to international telephony
services.

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