The submarine cable system will connect Singapore, Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia and is aiming for a rollout in 2024

On Sunday, Google and Facebook jointly announced their participation in a new submarine cable project, seeking to boost connectivity across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Apricot cable will span around 12,000km, connecting Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Indonesia. It will have an initial design capacity of 190Tbps and is set to be completed by 2024.

This is not the first time that Facebook and Google have collaborated on a major submarine cable project. Back in March, the two tech giants joined forces in announcing the Echo cable, a network set to connect the US to Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines via Guam. Echo will be ready for service in 2023.

Combined, Echo and Apricot will provide a major connectivity boost to the region, as well as providing Google Cloud with an excellent springboard from which to launch services in Asia.

“The Echo and Apricot cables are complementary submarine systems that will offer benefits with multiple paths in and out of Asia, including unique routes through southern Asia, ensuring a significantly higher degree of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services,” explained Bikash Koley, VP and Head of Google Global Networking and Head of Technology and Strategy at Google Cloud. “Together they’ll provide businesses and startups in Asia with lower latency, more bandwidth, and increased resilience in their connectivity between Southeast Asia, North Asia and the United States.”

Google is currently invested in 18 submarine cable systems around the world, including Curie, between Chile and Los Angeles; Equiano, between Portugal and South Africa; and Grace Hopper, a cable connecting New York to London, UK and Bilbao, Spain. In total, the company is invested

In their announcement, Google highlighted an Analysys Mason report exploring the economic impact the company’s submarine infrastructure investment in the APAC had had between 2010 and 2019, showing an aggregated increase of $430 billion GDP, as well as generating around 1.1 million additional jobs in the region.

But Google’s submarine cable ambitions for the coming years go beyond the APAC region alone, with the company last month announcing the Firmina an open subsea cable project connecting the East Coast of the US to Argentina and other South American locations.


How are hyperscalers like Facebook and Google impacting the submarine cable industry? Find out at this year’s live Submarine Networks EMEA conference 

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