Facebook and Google have announced project “Apricot,” a subsea cable system, which involves laying of 12,000 km (7,456 miles) of cable connecting Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
The technology giants will partner with Philippines telecommunications provider PLDT for the project. Apricot, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, is aimed at delivering internet capacity, redundancy and reliability to the Asia-Pacific region, Google said in a statement. Facebook will also partly fund the cable system.
The 12,000-kilometer-long cable will cater to the growing demand for broadband access and 5G wireless connectivity, Facebook said. It feature a state-of-the-art submersible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer employing wavelength selective switch for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration, based on space division multiplexing design, Facebook manager of network investments Nico Roehrich added in a Newsroom post.
Apricot is expected to be activated in 2024, with an initial design capacity of more than 190 terabits per second. It will also support existing cable systems, as well as the recently revealed Bifrost and Echo systems.
In March, Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Limited (Keppel T&T), through a wholly owned subsidiary, Keppel Midgard Holdings Pte. Ltd. (KMH), a subsidiary of Facebook Inc. and PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), a subsidiary of PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk have entered into a joint build agreement to jointly own and develop the Bifrost Cable System.
This is the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the West coast of North America via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea.
The Bifrost Cable System will connect Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of North America. When fully commissioned, the multiple fibre paired, high performance Bifrost Cable System will also be the largest capacity high-speed transmission cable across the Pacific Ocean, spanning over 15,000 kilometres and is expected to be completed in 2024.
According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018 – 2023), number of internet users are expected to hit 3.1 billion users by 2023 in the Asia Pacific region.