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Asian Carriers Plan Big Regional Cable Network

Eight of Asia's largest telecommunications carriers plan to jointly build a fiber optic cable that will interconnect the region's most important economies, they said Monday.

The Asia-Pacific Gateway (AGP) cable will run about 8,000 kilometers from South Korea to Malaysia. Spurs will directly connect China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore into the cable, which will initially have a bandwidth of 4 terabits per second.

The carriers said they were building the cable to satisfy anticipated demand for intra-regional capacity as trade and commerce grows in the region. The cable will also serve as a back-up to existing lines.

The cable is scheduled to go into operation in the third quarter of 2011 and it will be jointly financed and owned by China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT, NTT Communications, PLDT, Telekom Malaysia and Vietnam's VNPT.

Also Monday NTT Communications said it has agreed to acquire Pacific Crossing for an undisclosed price.

Pacific Crossing operates the 21,000 kilometer long PC-1 cable that runs in a ring across the Pacific between two points in Japan and two points in the U.S. The cable has a capacity of 3.2 terabits per second.

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