In an announcement last week, another transpacific submarine cable rather quietly entered the picture. China Soft Power Technology said it has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with TE Subcom in connection to the Pacific Light Cable Networks.
The plans call for a 12,800km, 5-fiber-pair cable connecting Hong Kong with Los Angeles. With 100G on 240 wavelengths, they envision 24Tbps of capacity and an RFS date in 2018. If it comes to fruition, the project will cost some $400M, but at the moment it’s one of several on the drawing board. TE Subcom is providing the preliminary study and survey for $10M of that.
There are other transpacific cable projects out there of course, and they all seem to have Chinese operators involved, with content providers playing an ever bigger role. The FASTER project announced last year includes China Mobile, China Telecom, and Google, for instance. CSPT seems to be a new player on the scene, but as with most things in the Chinese market there is probably more going on behind the scenes than we have seen.
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