The main submarine cable linking Australia to Japan is set to nearly double in bandwidth capacity to meet forecast demand for the rest of this year.
As part of its third major upgrade since launching in 2001, the 12,700-kilometre Australia-Japan Cable is set to receive technology boosting its capacity from 10 Gbps wavelengths per fibre pair, to 40 Gbps per fibre pair.
It will use Ciena technology to add 560 Gbps of bandwidth, on top of an existing 320 Gbps of lit capacity.
The upgrade will occur in two stages: the link between Australia and Guam (also used for Australian links to the US) will receive an additional 320 Gbps capacity while the final link to Japan will get an upgrade to 240 Gbps.
The cable was initially designed with a total forecast capacity of 640 Gbps but provided only 80 Gbps on opening in 2001.
It was upgraded in 2008 to 240 Gbps capacity but AJC CEO David Crofts told iTnews the cable’s current “equipped capacity” sat at 320 Gbps for the entire length of the link.
“All of our major customers are indicating ongoing demand,” Crofts said of the need of the upgrade, highlighting no specific requests from customers.
The cable is jointly owned by Telstra, Japanese telcos NTT and Softbank as well as global service providers Communications Global Network Services and Worldcom Global.
Capacity has also been rented by Australian service provider Internode on the link since 2006.
Crofts said an additional upgrade to 100G wavelength technology was on the roadmap once technically viable on the AJC cable’s length. He expected that would occur sometime after 2013.