NTT Communications, NTTWEM And NTT FINANCE Launch New Submarine Cable-Laying Ship

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT (NYSE:NTT) Group, NTT World Engineering Marine Corporation (NTTWEM) and NTT FINANCE CORPORATION (NTT FINANCE) jointly held a launch ceremony today for their new submarine cable-laying vessel "Kizuna" at Kanrei shipyard in Tokushima, Japan. Construction of the 8,500 ton ship, which measures 109 meters in length and 20 meters in width, and which will have a planned average cruising speed of 13 knots and a capacity of up to 60 crew, will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2016.

Kizuna will be owned by NTT FINANCE and leased to NTTWEM when required. NTTWEM's parent company NTT Com and other telecommunication companies and service providers will utilize Kizuna and three other vessels operated by NTTWEM to lay and maintain submarine cables used for delivering network and cloud services.

Submarine cable forms part of the core physical infrastructure that supports worldwide mobile communications, video distribution, music sharing, the transmission of enterprise data and IoT-related data collected from sensors worldwide. Optical fiber undersea cables are increasingly being laid to handle the ever-increasing volumes of such data.

Image 1: Conceptional image of the completed Kizuna Image 2: Kizuna launch party

Features of the new vessel include:
  • Good navigability and ability to remain stable over fixed points in the oceanKizuna is configured with its main working space in the stern. Its advanced design incorporates azimuth propellers, an electric propulsion system and a dynamic positioning system. These allow it to navigate quickly to selected locations and once in position, to withstand wind velocities of up to 14 meters per second, wave heights of up to 3 meters and ocean currents of up to 3 knots.
  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) allows rapid laying of undersea cableAn ROV equipped with a jet cable laying system and with a maximum operating depth of 2,500m will be delivered as part of the new vessel's equipment. This will allow rapid troubleshooting, speedy determination of any points of failure and easier replacement of cable following any repairs.
  • Multipurpose vessel with a variety of modern equipmentThe new vessel will have a large open working deck with two heavy-duty cranes and a large secured work space at the stern, allowing it to be deployed for a variety of tasks, including cable maintenance as well as cable laying.
  • Compact design will allow cable maintenance in domestic watersCareful use of space and the extensive deployment of electronic equipment will allow small teams of people to carry out more routine maintenance work efficiently. Kizuna is smaller than its existing sister ship "Subaru," making it suitable for work within congested Japanese waters.
  • Flexible functionality will facilitate rapid disaster responseKizuna has been designed to assist during disaster recovery operations, for example through the rapid shipment of containers and other supplies. The vessel can also transport disaster recovery vehicles and emergency cellular network base stations, as well as satellite communication facilities and temporary accommodation for NTT group employees working in disaster zones (see Appendix 1).

NTT Com plans to deploy the new ship Kizuna predominantly for cable laying in Japanese waters, with the existing Subaru being used mostly overseas, with both vessels offering fast and competitive undersea cable laying and maintenance.

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