Japan’s NEC Corporation has signed an agreement with the Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE) consortium – which consists of China Mobile International, Facebook and Amazon Web Services (AWS) - to build a high-performance submarine cable connecting Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States.

BtoBE Cable System route
BtoBE Cable System route – NEc

Just three stops

Consisting of six fiber pairs, the trans-Pacific cable system will connect two of the biggest bay areas in the world and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020. The plan also calls for BtoBE to be connected to the South-East Asia-Japan 2 (SJC2) submarine cable to strengthen connectivity in Southeast Asia.

An earlier report from China Mobile revealed that the system has a total capacity of 108Tbps and a delay of 130 milliseconds. The project is touted as the first submarine cable linking Singapore to the United States with a delay of less than 150 milliseconds.

The 16,000-kilometer cable system will land in just three locations: Singapore, Hong Kong and California, according to the route map shown on NEC’s website.

It is likely that the cable will be used exclusively to channel traffic for the three stakeholders. Just last week, China Mobile International held a commencement ceremony for its first data center in Singapore. Both AWS and Facebook both have their own data centers in the city state.

“NEC is honored to be selected by the BtoBE consortium as the turn-key system supplier for this world record-breaking optical fiber submarine cable system that covers the longest distance without regeneration. The BtoBE, landing at three locations spanning across the Pacific Ocean, is designed so that once completed, it can carry at least 18Tbs of capacity per fiber pair,” said Toru Kawauchi, general manager of the submarine network division at NEC.

“The BtoBE will provide seamless connectivity and network diversity, while serving to complement other Asia-Pacific submarine cables, among others.”