KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, October 3, 1994 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T Submarine Systems, Inc. and KDD Submarine Cable Systems today were awarded a US$323 million contract to supply part of the Asia Pacific Cable Network (APCN), an undersea fiber-optic cable linking Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The APCN undersea cable system is expected to be completed in 1996.

The 12,000-km Asia Pacific Cable Network (APCN) consists of three segments. AT&T and KDD received more than half of the award for the project, providing the northern segment with landing points in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and the southern segment linking Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand -- a total of 6,600 kilometers.

Alcatel Submarcom and STC of France will install the middle segment of the system where cable stations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia are connected.

The Asia Pacific Cable Network (APCN) will be the world's fourth undersea cable system using optical-amplifier technology, which transmits voice, data and video at a rate of 5 billion bits per second (5 Gbps) -- fast enough to transmit the entire Encyclopedia Britannica at the blink of an eye.

AT&T's Bell Laboratories and Japan's KDD successfully demonstrated optical-amplification technology in a June 1992 test. During the experiment, the system operated error-free over a 9,000 kilometer fiber- optic cable with a transmission speed of five gigabits per second, nearly 10 times faster than previous technology.

"AT&T Submarine Systems is pleased to have been selected with KDD as the major supplier of the Asia Pacific Cable Network only one week after we signed a letter of intent with the FLAG consortium for the installation of the worlds longest undersea telecommunications system," said William B. Carter, president, AT&T Submarine Systems, Inc.,"Supplying these systems continues our efforts to link all nations to the global network and provide connectivity for ubiquitous services worldwide."

By 1997, the Asia Pacific Cable Network and another system, TPC-5, the world's first self-healing loop network in the Pacific Ocean, will provide customers in the western Pacific Rim fiber-on-fiber restoration and connectivity to the entire Pacific region, including North and South America. In the unlikely event of a cable break, communications traffic can be shifted from one fiber cable to another so that digital voice, data or video communications can continue without disruption.