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NEC to build submarine cable connecting Japan prefectures

19 Feb 2019
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NEC Corporation today announced that it has been awarded a major new submarine cable contract.

Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company has chosen NEC to design, engineer, supply, install, test, and implement a new optical submarine cable system connecting Okinawa Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan.

NEC will provide the optical submarine cable system as a turnkey solution and has scheduled the system to be fully operational in April 2020.

This cable system is connected to Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, and Hioki City, Kagoshima Prefecture, with a total length of approximately 760 km and a maximum depth of approximately 1,200 m.

According to NEC, the cable system employs the latest optical wavelength multiplex transmission method, and the maximum design transmission capacity is 80 Tbps per second.

By connecting the cable between Okinawa and Kagoshima via a different route from the existing cable, this cable can secure a backup line in the event of large-scale disasters or other emergencies.

In addition, NEC says this cable system will respond to the demand for communications between the Okinawa, Kyushu and Honshu regions of Japan, which is expected to continue growing in the future due to the construction of data centres in Okinawa and the launch of 5G services.

NEC has been a big player in the submarine cable systems industry for more than 50 years. According to the company, over this time it has built more than 300,000 km of cable, which is the equivalent of spanning the earth 7.5 times. The company has a particular strength in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan.

NEC, as a system integrator, provides all aspects of submarine cable operations, including the production of optical transmission terminal stations, optical submarine repeaters, optical submarine cables, ocean surveys and route designs, installation of equipment and cable installation, and training and delivery testing.

OCC Corporation is a subsidiary of NEC and is responsible for the manufacture of this cable - it is also apparently the only company in Japan that can manufacture optical submarine cables capable of withstanding the water pressure from seas 8,000 metres deep.