Telecommunications giant Chunghwa Telecom Co yesterday held a ceremony to celebrate the completion of its first submarine cable system between Taiwan and China.
Telecommunications companies from both sides of the strait invested a total of NT$200 million (US$6.66 million) to construct the cable system that runs between Taiwan’s Kinmen County and China’s Xiamen City.
Chunghwa Telecom put in NT$100 million, while three major Chinese telecoms companies — China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile — provided the remaining funds.
The submarine system, which took 16 years to build, is the first of its kind and will make it easier to build similar projects, Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said at the celebrations.
The government holds the biggest stake in Chunghwa Telecom.
With regard to external telecommunications, cross-strait communications ranks in first place.
With telecommunications demand between the two sides growing rapidly, completion of the cross-strait cable system could not have been more timely, Chunghwa Telecom chairman Lu Shyue-ching (呂學錦) said.
The Kinmen-Xiamen submarine cable project was launched in 1996, after top-ranking officials from Taiwanese and Chinese telecommunications companies held a meeting about the project in Taiwan, Lu said.
The system consists of two cables, one of 11km that runs directly between Kinmen’s Lake Tzu and Xiamen’s Guanyin Mountain, and a 9.7km cable that runs between Kinmen’s Guningtou (古寧頭) and Xiamen’s Dadeng Island (大嶝島), Lu said.
The non-repeater submarine cable system has a bilateral transmission capacity of 90 Gigabits per second (Gbps), with Chunghwa Telecom allocating 90 Gbps bandwidth from the Taiwanese side and the three Chinese companies receiving 30 Gbps each.
Depending on demand, the bandwidth might be expanded in the future, Lu said.
He said the company is building three other cable systems in the region, with the aim of becoming a telecommunications leader in the Asia-Pacific region.
They are the Taiwan Strait Express, another cross-strait submarine cable; the South-East Asia Japan Cable System; and the Asia-Pacific Gateway, which is to link Taiwan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, Lu said.
The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2014, he said.