Google Y Facebook have announced the Apricot project with which, together with other local partners, they will build a 12,000-kilometer submarine cable that will connect Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Guam, the Philippines and Singapore. The project could come into operation in 2024 and its purpose is to meet the growing demand for 4G, 5G and broadband access networks in the region, as it is designed to offer more than 190 terabits per second.
Apricot will support existing cables, Echo and Bifrost, the first two projects from Facebook and Google that traversed a new route across the Java Sea to increase overall subsea capacity in the trans-Pacific by about 70 percent. According to Google, Apricot will offer benefits with multiple routes in and out of Asia, including unique routes through South Asia that will provide a degree of greater resilience for Google Cloud and other digital services.
Facebook, for its part, indicates that this cable will have a state-of-the-art configuration that will allow flexibility in the capacity of trunks and branches. Apricot’s infrastructure adds to other Facebook investments to increase connectivity in Indonesia, which is currently the fourth most populous country in the world. Although 73 percent of Indonesia’s 270 million people have access to the Internet, the vast majority of them connect via mobile data and only 10 percent use a broadband connection to surf.
Asia is not the only territory in which these types of submarine connections are being established. Google announced in June of this year the construction of Firmina, a submarine cable that will link the east coast of the United States with Las Toninas, in Argentina, and with additional land extensions in Brazil and Uruguay.