NEC has been contracted by Facebook to build transatlantic fibre optic cable connecting Europe and US to facilitate growing demand for rising data traffic amid 5G technology adoption.
The Japanese company will use its newly developed 24 fibre pairs in the subsea cable. Until recently, subsea cable mostly uses two to eight fibre pair, with the 16 fibre pairs being the highest to date.
The new system “can deliver a maximum transmission capacity of a half Petabit per second, the highest to date for a long distance repeater optical subsea cable system,” NEC said in a statement, referring to 500 terabits per second.
Rapid data growth
“International data usage across the Atlantic is expected to expand twenty fold in the 15 years between 2021 and 2035. The region ranks among the highest growth geographies for data traffic demand, bringing ever-greater demands to reduce the cost per bit on subsea cable networks,” NEC said.
NEC began its submarine cable system in 1964, back then using coaxial cable, and currently holds global market share of around 30%.
Facebook separately said: “a capacity of half a petabit per second - that’s half a million gigabits! To put that in perspective, that’s 200 times the capacity of the transatlantic cables built in the early 2000s.”
Facebook and Google has been investing in subsea fibre optic network. Earlier this year, both tech giants tech giants announced 12,000km cable connecting Japan and Southeast Asia, dubbed as “Apricot”, with bandwidth capacity of 190 terabits per second. The network will complement “Echo” and “Bifrost” cables connecting Southeast Asia with North America.