NEW YORK – Verizon Communications Inc. said on Monday it and five Asian telecom companies will build a $500 million undersea optical cable linking the United States and China to boost communications capacity by more than 60 times.
Verizon Business, the unit of the No. 2 U.S. phone carrier that handles corporate sales, and partners China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom will start building the cable in the first quarter of 2007, with completion expected in the third quarter of 2008.
The new optical cable can support the equivalent of 62 million phone calls simultaneously, said Verizon.
“This state-of-the-art cable will support high-speed traffic to the world’s fastest-growing region — the Asia-Pacific,” said Fred Briggs, Verizon Business executive vice president of operations and technology.
China has 449 million mobile users, making it the largest cellular market in the world. It is also one of the fastest areas of Internet growth, with data showing around 123 million current Web users.
Verizon said it is involved in more than 65 submarine cable networks worldwide.