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Global Consortium to Construct New Cable System Linking US and Japan to Meet Increasing Bandwidth Demands


Construction underway to build 10,000 km linear cable system with a capacity of up to 7.68 Tbps to enhance Trans-Pacific connectivity

TOKYO, Japan – A consortium of six international companies announced they have executed agreements to build a high-bandwidth subsea fiber optic cable linking the United States and Japan. The construction of the new Trans-Pacific infrastructure will cost an estimated US$300 million.

The new cable system – named Unity – will address broadband demand by providing much needed capacity to sustain the unprecedented growth in data and Internet traffic between Asia and the United States. Unity is expected to initially increase Trans-Pacific lit cable capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add up to 7.68 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.

According to the TeleGeography Global Bandwidth Report, 2007, Trans-Pacific bandwidth demand has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63.7 percent between 2002 and 2007. It is expected to continue to grow strongly from 2008 to 2013, with total demand for capacity doubling roughly every two years.

"The Unity cable system allows the members of the consortium to provide the increased capacity needed as more applications and services migrate online, giving users faster and more reliable connectivity,” said Unity spokesperson Jayne Stowell.

The Unity consortium is a joint effort by Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel. The name Unity was chosen to signify a new type of consortium, born out of potentially competing systems, to emerge as a system within a system, offering ownership and management of individual fiber pairs.

This new 10,000 kilometer (km) Trans-Pacific cable will provide connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast near Tokyo, to Los Angeles and other West Coast network points of presence. At Chikura, Unity will be seamlessly connected to other cable systems, further enhancing connectivity into Asia.

The Unity consortium selected NEC Corporation and Tyco Telecommunications to construct and install the system during a signing ceremony held in Tokyo on February 23, 2008. Construction will begin immediately, with initial capacity targeted to be available in the first quarter of 2010.

The new five fiber pair cable system can be expanded up to eight fiber pairs, with each fiber pair capable of carrying up to 960 Gigabits per second (Gbps). By having a high fiber count, Unity is able to offer more capacity at lower unit costs.
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FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to expected increases in capable capacity, the increase in bandwidth resulting from Unity’s new cable system, and the growth of the bandwidth demand. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ include, among others, risks related to the difficulty of predicting capacity requirements, rapid technological changes and the introduction of new products and technologies that make it difficult to accurately forecast telecommunications traffic growth, the impact of increasing competition, regulatory uncertainty and the impact of changes in existing regulations, and Unity’s ability to complete the construction of the cable system in the anticipated time frame due to, among other things, extensive construction lead times, the limited number of major undersea cable supply and construction companies, the limited number of qualified and experienced undersea cable personnel and significant capital requirements. All information provided in this release is as of February 26, 2008, and neither Unity nor any other company referenced herein undertakes any duty to update this information.


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