Five major telecoms operators from Taiwan and China signed a contract yesterday to build the first undersea cable directly linking Taiwan and China to meet mounting demand, officials said.
Chang Xiaobing (常小兵), chairman of China Unicom (中國聯通), signed the contract at a ceremony in Taipei that also included representatives from Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and three other leading Taiwanese telecoms operators.
Under the contract, pending the Taiwanese government’s final approval, a 220km undersea cable will link Tamsui with China’s Fuzhou city.
If the project is realized, the cable will become the first of its kind since 1949.
Two other Chinese telecoms operators will sign the contract, thought to be worth about NT$800 million (US$26 million), at a later date.
“Clients’ demand for Internet and audio-video transmission from the two sides are very strong,” an official at Chunghua Telecom said.
Demand is expected to surge in the years ahead as Chinese telecoms operators press for third-generation mobile communications and as cloud computing — whereby shared resources, software and information are hosted online — moves up telecoms operators’ development agendas.
The undersea cable project comes amid fast-warming ties between Taiwan and China under China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who took office in May 2008 on promises to boost economic ties between the two.
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