Okinawa islands to get high-speed communications link

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A group of Okinawa islands is set to benefit from a new, high-speed communications connection.

Naha-based Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co., and mobile phone giants SoftBank Corp. and NTT West Corp. have announced a plan to install or upgrade undersea optical cables stretching more than 1,000 kilometers to connect Okinawa’s main island with three remote islands — Kume, Ishigaki and Miyako.

As part of the new project, Okinawa Cellular will install new cables between Okinawa’s main island and Ishigaki island, which are about 400 kilometers apart, and between Miyako and Kume islands, which are more than 200 kilometers apart.

The new connection will be capable of transmitting and receiving large amounts of data.

The cables, which will measure 1,010 kilometers in total, will connect the islands in a loop, in hopes that communication services will be maintained even in the event of a disaster.

The three companies aim to strengthen the region’s high-speed, high-capacity communications network and complete work by the summer of 2023.

NTT West and other firms already have cables that link Okinawa’s main island and Kume islands, and Miyako and Ishigaki islands. The companies plan to improve the performance of these existing cables.

The total cost of the project has not been disclosed.