Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank Ally for New Transpacific Cable

Amazon, Facebook, Japan’s SoftBank and other technology companies are partnering to build the Jupiter cable system, a new 8,700-mile (14,000 km) transpacific subsea cable that will connect North America with Asia. The Jupiter system will have so-called landing points in two locations in Japan (Maruyama in Chiba prefecture and Shima in Mie prefecture), Daet in the Philippines and another in Los Angeles. Other partners include NTT (SoftBank’s rival), Hong Kong’s PCCW Global, and the Philippines’ PLDT.

VentureBeat reports that the Jupiter system, slated for completion by 2020 with a capacity of 60Tbps, will bring on TE SubCom as its system supplier. NTT issued a statement that said the system’s capacity may expand “to meet rising data demands and complement existing cable systems,” and that it plans to connect its current cable infrastructure with Jupiter for a “redundant three-route structure” for a “secure and reliable international network.”

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SoftBank’s aim in building Jupiter is to accomplish its “vision of a future in which the Internet of Things (IoT) will usher in trillions of connected devices globally.”

“Anticipating exponential growth of IoT-related businesses, SoftBank is committed to building and optimizing its network infrastructure to support rapidly increasing traffic demand and its customers,” said a company release. SoftBank’s Koji Ishii, who will be co-chairperson of the Jupiter partnership added that, “the demand for bandwidth in the Pacific region continues to grow at a remarkable rate, and is accompanied by the rise of capacity-dependent applications like live video, augmented and virtual reality, and 4K/8K video.”

“Jupiter will provide the necessary diversity of connections and the highest capacity available to meet the needs of the evolving marketplace,” he said.

For Amazon and Facebook, the Jupiter system will help them meet the need for “high-speed data transfers for cloud services, video-streaming, and more.” Other partnerships have constructed transoceanic cables recently: Facebook and Microsoft’s 4,000-mile transatlantic Internet cable; Google’s support of Indigo, which connects Asia and Australia: Facebook and Google’s submarine cable project between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, and a newly opened Google-backed transpacific Internet cable between Japan and Oregon.