TAMUNING, GUAM—The ATISA submarine fiber optic cable of Docomo Pacific, Inc. is now ready for service.
In a statement yesterday, Docomo Pacific said that construction and end-to-end testing of its 183-mile ATISA submarine fiber optic cable system connecting Guam to the CNMI is now complete.
The ATISA submarine cable (from the Chamorro word atisa meaning, “to illuminate, to accelerate”), which began with the signing of a supply contract in February 2016, was recently brought ashore and connected to networks in Guam and on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
The system will come online with an initial operating capacity of 200 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth. As presently designed, the total capacity of the ATISA system is 7.2 Terabits per second (Tbps).
According to its statement, the new cable will enable Docomo Pacific to provide connectivity services to its customers beginning today.
The telecommunications company said it is already providing high-speed internet connection to the Commonwealth Port Authority, which operates the Francisco C. Ada Saipan International Airport.
ATISA also connects the CNMI to Guam, where local businesses and government agencies can connect to other systems, extending the cable’s reach to the global internet.
Docomo Pacific selected Japan’s NEC Corp. to design and build the cable.
Toru Kawauchi, general manager of NEC Corp.’s Submarine Network Division, said: It is our great honor that NEC has played a part in this significant achievement for the CNMI. I am so happy to share this special and exciting moment with our customers. Since NEC is located in the Asia-Pacific region, we can always provide hope that our partnership will be further enhanced, and that we will help develop the CNMI region together, toward deepened mutual understanding and the fulfillment of human potential.”
Docomo Pacific selected Ciena for its submarine GeoMesh solution, to deliver 100 Gbps wavelengths, and to facilitate new on-demand experiences for users. The Ciena solution can scale to support any communications requirements for the lifetime of the cable.
Ian Clarke, Ciena’s vice president of Global Submarine Systems, said: “While businesses and consumers may not always notice or be aware of submarine networks like ATISA, they will quickly see the benefits this important network will bring. With Ciena’s high-capacity GeoMesh solution, Docomo Pacific is making communications for the CNMI region more stable, more agile, and better able to support demand from exciting new services that will transform their way of life.
Ocean Specialists Inc., a submarine fiber optic cable consulting firm, advised Docomo Pacific on ATISA and provided project management support.
Tony Mosley, OSI director of Asia-Pacific, said: “The Docomo Pacific team has worked with unwavering focus to bring the ATISA network into service. OSI is proud to have worked with them from day one across the full spectrum of business case, technical requirements and program management needs.”
Docomo Pacific said that ATISA makes it possible for the company to offer the people of the CNMI the same products and services that are already available to Docomo’s customers in Guam.
Jonathan Kriegel, Docomo Pacific president and CEO, said the company looks forward “to working with enterprise partners of all sizes in the CNMI and helping them to serve their customers faster and more effectively. We want to sincerely thank our associates, advisers, and suppliers who have worked tirelessly over the last year and half to make ATISA a reality.
“We would also like to thank the CNMI government agencies, community partners, and especially the people of Rota, Saipan, and Tinian for welcoming this project and helping to bring it to completion.
“ATISA is a major investment in our families and community, and enables us to create one Marianas for everyone.”
ATISA is now the second undersea cable in the CNMI and the first new system in nearly 20 years. The first one is owned by IT&E.
Docomo Pacific invested over $16 million for the cable itself, and an additional $9 million to modernize and expand its fixed and mobile networks in the CNMI.
Starting in August, Docomo Pacific’s mobile, cable television, online, and home telephone services will become available to residential customers in the CNMI.
The new cable will reportedly offer expanded entertainment choices, faster internet speeds, and improved mobile coverage in the CNMI—at the same prices offered to Docomo Pacific’s customers in Guam.