NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, announced today that as part of a consortium comprising SoftBank, Facebook, Amazon, PLDT, and PCCW Global, it signed an agreement on October 27 to participate in the construction and maintenance of the JUPITER large-capacity low-latency optical submarine cable between Asia and the United States.
The JUPITER cable system will have a total length of 14,000km connecting the Philippines, Japan, and the U.S, and an initial design capacity of 60Tbit/s. It will use the Daet Cable Landing Station in the Philippines. In Japan, Jupiter will have two landing points: the Shima Landing Station in Mie Prefecture and the Maruyama Landing Station in Chiba Prefecture, as well as a U.S. landing station in Los Angeles, California. NTT Com’s Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) and Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) cables will connect with JUPITER to provide a redundant three-route structure linking major cities in Asia, Japan, and United States with a secure and reliable international network (see below).
Jupiter & NTT Cable Network Map
Source: NTT Communications
JUPITER will feature a state-of-the-art submersible ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) employing WSS (wavelength selective switch) for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration. JUPITER is expected to launch in early 2020 with an initial design capacity of 60Tbit/s, which will be expanded later to meet rising data demands and complement existing cable systems.
JUPITER will be a 400Gbit/s wavelength-division multiplex (WDM) transmission system deploying the latest fiber and design technologies as the fastest cable between Japan and the United States. It will be capable of transmitting a six-hour high-definition video (about three movies) in one second.
JUPITER will deploy branching units working with WSS ROADM for fast and flexible remote switching of transmission routes. Transmission routes will be quickly switchable to ensure business continuity, including in the event of a natural disaster or other unexpected problem in coastal areas of Japan.
NTT Com will build the new multilayer-security Minamiboso Landing Station in Minamiboso, Chiba Prefecture which will be an extension from the existing Maruyama Landing Station and serve as NTT Com’s JUPITER termination point. The other cable landing station which JUPITER system terminates are well secured as well. JUPITER will also use the existing Shima Landing Station in Shima, Mie Prefecture (see below). NTT Com will provide connection to other cable systems via the Minamiboso and Shima landing stations to maximize transmission route options to support global business expansion by customers.
Jupiter Japanese Landing Station
Source: NTT Communications
In addition, NTT Com will connect the Minamiboso Landing Station with data centers in Tokyo and the Shima Landing Station with data centers in Osaka, via low-loss optic fiber to enlarge the transmission capacity within Japan. Also, NTT Com will directly maintain and operate its landing stations in Minamiboso, Shima, and Los Angeles to maximize service quality between Japan and the United States.
To meet the growing demands for traffic, including internet, cloud services, and coming 5G wireless communications, NTT Com is steadily expanding its cable capacity in Asia and the Trans-Pacific, including by connecting multiple cable systems to its own data centers and enhancing cable redundancy, to offer highly reliable global network services. At the same time, NTT Com will further support the business-expansion initiatives of customers by merging its data center, cloud and network services.
Source: NTT Communications Press Release
ANALYSIS: On November 11, 2017, Philippines incumbent operator, PLDT, announced that it, too, had joined the Jupiter consortium with an investment of PHP7-billion ($136.7 million). Partners in Jupiter each take a fiber pair for their own use, allowing them to use whichever terminal equipment they wish, to make upgrades whenever they wish, and to manage their own connection independently from the other consortium members.
Pioneer estimates that Jupiter will cost about US$460M to build which puts the PLDT investment at rather more that one sixth. Around the same time as the PLDT announcement, Philippine government agencies, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced that they will partner with Facebook to build an express terrestrial fiber connection between the east and west coasts of Luzon in a project called SECURE GovNet.
This would provide redundancy for PLDT’s capacity on the highly unreliable AAG cable system which lands at La Union, Philippines. PLDT’s investment figure quoted above may include a contribution to this project as well.
It is also worth noting that Facebook is now involved in three transpacific new builds: Jupiter, Pacific Light, and Hong Kong-America. As with NTT’s network design (see above), Facebook is going for a 3-cable transpacific solution to increase redundancy and therefore network reliability.
Julian Rawle, Author
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