NEC corporation has been contracted by Seren to build JUNO, a new trans-Pacific submarine cable system that links the US and Japan.
Seren is a consortium officially unveiled earlier this month. Comprising NTT Ltd Japan Corporation and PC Landing Corp, as well as Mitsui and JAML, the new company – Seren Juno Network Co Ltd, to give its full name – is responsible for managing the entire JUNO project from the planning and construction to sales and operations.
According to the official announcement, JUNO introduces more advanced technologies in the shape of SDM (space division multiplexing) that can enable 20 optical fiber pairs (40 cores) per cable. Conventional tech, stated Seren, carries a maximum of 16 fiber pairs (32 cores).
With a maximum capacity of 350 Tbit/s, JUNO's backers say the subsea cable will be the largest system of its kind currently linking the US and Japan.
The plan is to connect California with Chiba prefecture, and Mie prefecture in Japan, spanning a total distance of around 10,000 kilometers. Installation is expected to be done by the end of 2024.
Seren and NEC said JUNO underscored Japan's role as a "data hub" in the Asia-Pacific region and promoted the development of digital economies by supporting strong demand for communications, including 5G.
Moreover, by providing communication routes from two separate locations in Japan to the US, there is some built in resilience to natural disasters on the coastal areas of Japan.
A wavelength selective switch function, added Seren and NEC, will allow JUNO to remotely alter the bandwidth of each route, enabling it – if all goes to plan – to "respond flexibly to customer business needs and changes in communications traffic demand."
NEC on a subsea cable roll (out)
JUNO is the latest in a series of big subsea cable contracts won by NEC. Last October Facebook commissioned the Japanese supplier to build an "ultra-high-performance fiber-optic cable" connecting the US and Europe.
The cable will offer 200 times the capacity of the transatlantic cables of the 2000s and will connect into the 2Africa cable system connecting Africa, Asia and Europe.
Just prior to the Facebook win, India chose NEC to build an optical fiber cable from its major coastal city of Kochi on the mainland to the 11 islands of Lakshadweep, about 400 kilometers away.
NEC says it has built more than 300,000 kilometers of subsea cable, which is equivalent to circling Earth nearly eight times.