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Secrets of Submarine Cables - Transmitting 99 percent of all international data!

  • MitaTerabits! It's a larger unit than the gigabit. It's too large and beyond my imagination.
  • KogaLet me explain the capacity of 64 terabits in simple terms. If all of the 120 million people living in Japan makes a phone call at the same time, it will consume only eight percent of the capacity.
  • MitaAwesome! Then, if Japan's population increases ten-fold to 1.2 billion, there will be no problem, right?
  • KogaTheoretically, yes. We can send 1,700 DVDs worth of data per second (the capacity of a single DVD being 4.7 gigabytes).
  • MitaI see. Anyway, I understand that a single submarine cable can handle a massive amount of data. I think that, without the submarine cables, we could not be living the way we are.
  • KogaI think so. When it comes to our livelihood, submarine cables play an important role in earthquake and tsunami observations as well.
  • MitaIs that so? That's news to me.
  • KogaSeismometers and tsunami gauges are placed on the ocean floor, and the submarine cable is used to deliver observation data from these devices to the observatory on the shore. Since data arrives at the observatory at nearly the speed of light, they can give alerts before the earthquake and tsunami hit. It's a matter of a few seconds. But if you have a few seconds, you can turn off the gas. Actually, such data is provided for the emergency earthquake alert system and other facilities.

  • MitaWithout knowing it, we have come to rely on the technology of submarine cables in areas other than communication.
  • KogaYes. Now, let me tell you about how we lay a submarine cable in the ocean. It's a large-scale story, and you'll definitely find it interesting.
  • MitaWait a minute. I'd love to hear your story about laying submarine cables, but we're out of time for today. I'm looking forward to hearing more about submarine cables in the second part of the program.

Our interview is not over yet, but we need to take a break here because we're out of time. In today's society, we can gain instant access to information in foreign countries thousands of kilometers away from Japan.

Now I understand that the foundation of this convenient environment is supported by the "ultra-fast communications technology" of NEC and other submarine cable vendors. Our exploration has only just begun, but there are so many things we don't know and the first part of our interview was full of surprises. In the second part, we will learn about the technology used to lay submarine cable in the ocean.

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