A consortium including Google and KDDI Corp has signed a deal on Thursday to build and operate an international undersea cable system, estimated to cost $400 million.

Globe Telecom, part owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, and units of Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications are also part of the consortium.

The cable system, named Southeast Asia Japan Cable, has a design capacity of 17 Terabits per second (Tbps) upgradeable to 23 Tbps, the highest capacity system ever built so far, the companies said in a joint statement.

It is targeted to be operational by the second quarter of 2012.

The 8300 km-long cable system will provide faster and more efficient broadband connectivity throughout Asia and will initially link Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, and Japan, the statement added.

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