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The high level of commitment embodied by the NEC logo:
Concluding a long-term charter contract for an optical submarine cable-laying ship to bring the power of "Made in Japan" to the world

Around 99% of the international communications that connect the world are supported by optical submarine cables laid on the ocean floor. In October, NEC announced plans to charter an optical submarine cable-laying vessel for about four years in response to the global expansion of data communications. While NEC boasts a history dating back more than half a century in the submarine cable system business, this is the first time it will be chartering a cable-laying vessel for the long term. A cable-laying ship bearing the NEC logo will now be sailing the world's oceans. We asked some of the leaders and employees working on the frontlines about their passion for this project being pursued by the NEC Group as one.

Building on the trust earned thus far, NEC is now well on its way to becoming the No.1 supplier in the world

In October, an optical submarine cable laying ship docked at the port of Kitakyushu. The cable-laying ship bearing NEC's logo is 127 meters long. It has a load capacity of 5,000 tons and can carry about 7,000 kilometers of standard cable. NEC has signed a contract with U.K.-based Global Marine Systems Limited to charter this vessel that will be used exclusively by NEC for the long term.

In addition to manufacturing the equipment comprising submarine cable systems, NEC provides everything from marine surveys and route designs to installation, cable laying, and testing prior to final delivery. The top three companies in the industry currently hold a 90% share of the global optical submarine cable market, and NEC is one of them.

According to Atsushi Kuwahara, Managing Director of NEC's Submarine Network Division, "There are only a few companies in the world capable of providing complete submarine cable systems, and NEC is the only such company in Japan. Our proven track record combined with the trust we have earned by completing so many projects—especially in the Asian region where the topography of the seafloor is complex—has given NEC the advantage it needs to compete on the global stage."

Demand for communication lines is soaring as globalization continues and 5G becomes more pervasive. Mr. Kuwahara explains, "We are increasing the number of vessels that can be used for offshore work to ensure that we can meet the construction needs of our customers in terms of scheduling. This is also part of NEC's strategy to become the No.1 supplier of submarine cable systems in the world."

Atsushi Kuwahara, Submarine Network Division

Striving to create cables with "submarine quality" capable of withstanding water pressures at ocean depths beyond 8,000 meters

We also spoke with employees working on the frontlines of this business about their aspirations. Fumino Kosugi of the Submarine Network Division is in his first year with NEC and currently working on a project to connect America and Asia. Ms. Kosugi reflected on his past, telling us, "I traveled to Sri Lanka while I was a student, where I met people who had no access to the Internet. Recently, however, I had the chance to speak with them via social media for the first time in three years." Thanks to the development of communication technology, Ms. Kosugi's acquaintances must feel closer to friends and family living far away. This is what has led Ms. Kosugi to aspire to play a role in connecting people with optical submarine cables.

Fumino Kosugi, Submarine Network Division

The entire NEC Group is committed to the pursuit of improving the quality of optical submarine cables to support communications. Yasushi Hasegawa, who is responsible for the manufacturing of optical submarine cables, explained, "Our ultimate mission is to create stable, high-quality cables designed to maintain their characteristics for 25 years under extremely high water pressure at the bottom of the sea."

Mr. Hasegawa works for OCC Corporation, a subsidiary of the NEC Corporation that is the one and only company in Japan capable of manufacturing optical submarine cables that can withstand water pressure 8,000 meters beneath the sea. "Once optical submarine cables have been laid, retrieval and repair is difficult. That's why high quality, also known as "submarine quality," is required. We are constantly striving to create this quality each and every day," explained Mr. Hasegawa.

Yasushi Hasegawa, an OCC employee in charge of optical submarine cable manufacturing
OCC manufacturing facility

Optical submarine cables are the key to connectivity: NEC's united efforts in the submarine cable business

The entire NEC Group is engaged in the submarine cable system business. In addition to OCC Corporation, NEC Platforms is developing and manufacturing repeaters and terminal station equipment while NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation is supporting cable laying work. The strength of the NEC Group lies in its ability to bring the monozukuri (i.e., the Japanese art of manufacturing) capabilities of "Made in Japan" to the rest of the world.

While the charter of a long-term cable-laying vessel is a first for NEC, so is a cable-laying ship bearing the NEC logo. This move shows the world that NEC has taken its level of commitment up a notch, that the entire NEC Group is engaged in the submarine cable system business, that this serves as a source of pride for every member of the NEC Group, and that we are one of the leading suppliers of submarine cable systems in the world. The bright blue NEC logo now emblazoned on this ship represents all of this.

The Internet, which supports social media platforms, online meetings, online shopping, and more, has become an integral infrastructure in modern society, and it is the NEC Group's submarine cable system business that underpins it. NEC is striving to achieve its Purpose, which is to create the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency. Mr. Kuwahara tells us emphatically, "We have made it our mission to unite the world by connecting people and countries with submarine cables, thereby making information accessible to everyone and bringing both prosperity and smiles to society."