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Consortium to build subsea cable system linking Hong Kong, US

Stretching more than 13,000 kilometres, the Hong Kong-Americas submarine cable network will be deployed by a consortium that includes China Telecom, Facebook, and Tata Communications.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

The Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) consortium is building a subsea cable system linking Hong Kong and the US, which will stretch more than 13,000 kilometres.

Expected to be completed in 2020, the network would comprise six fibre pairs and connect from Chung Hom Kok in Hong Kong, to Hermosa Beach in California. The consortium said it inked a contract with Nokia's Alcatel Submarine Networks to build the subsea system, which would provide further connectivity options between the two regions should these be activated in future.

The HKA consortium included China Telecom, China Unicom, Facebook, Tata Communications, and Telstra as key members.

The subsea system would showcase Alcatel Submarine Networks' next-generation repeaters WSS (wavelength selective switch) ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) and was touted to support more than 80Tbps data transmission capacity. It also would be compatible with future submarine terminals equipped with Probabilistic Shaping technology.

Another consortium last October also unveiled plans to build a submarine cable system linking Japan, the Philippines, and US. Comprising Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, PLDT, and PCCW Global, the group said the Jupiter subsea cable would initially offer transmission capacity of 60Tbps, which could be enhanced in future.

A 400Gbps wavelength-division multiplex (WDM) transmission system, the network also would feature WSS ROADM to achieve higher connection speeds, which the consortium said would be the fastest between Japan and the US.

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