NEC Tapped to Build Bay to Bay Express

July 9th, 2018 by · Leave a Comment

What has three ends, two webscales, and 130ms round trip latency?  A new transpacific cable system of course.  The Bay to Bay Express Cable System consortium has signed up NEC to build the new system which will connect California to Hong Kong and Singapore.

The consortium is an interesting group, consisting of China Mobile, Facebook, and Amazon Web Services.  I haven’t seen Amazon jump into the submarine cable space this explicitly until now, although given their imposing position in the public cloud world it’s not exactly a surprise.

The BtoBE cable system will hook up the San Francisco Bay Area with the Hong Kong/Guangdong/Macao Bay Area, as well as reach across the South China Sea to Singapore.  It’s a 16,000km path that will initially enable some 18Tbps of capacity per fiber pair at 130ms round trip latency.  It’s not clear yet how many fiber pairs there will be, so perhaps they are still looking for additional anchor tenants or consortium members.  The actual landing site in California was not specified either, so there are perhaps a few revelations yet to come.

Assuming all goes well, NEC will be building the cable system over the next 2.5 years.  The time frame currently is to have the cable ready for service in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Categories: Undersea cables

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