Shanghai Telecom has announced the construction of a trans-pacific undersea cable will soon be started as scheduled and the project is expected to be completed and put into operation in 2008.

The first phase will greatly increase Shanghai's international communications export capacity upon completion. Currently, Shanghai has nine international undersea cables connected it, which makes it use 70% of the total international communication capacity of China. Yet that still can't meet the increasing market demand.

The Trans-Pacific Express, which involves a total of US$500 million in investment, is jointly built by China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom, and US-based Verizon. Shanghai is one of the debarkation points for the cable.

Shanghai Telecom says this Sino-US undersea cable will effectively help reduce the communications risks caused by natural catastrophes. Earlier this year, Asian communications came to a stop when a series of earthquakes near Taiwan ruptured undersea communications cables.

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