Japan to boost optical fiber output on booming demand
Japanese electric cable companies will boost optical fiber production to meet growing demand for large-capacity communications networks in Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said Sunday.
Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. will invest 30 billion yen ($280 million) by March 2001 to raise its optical fiber production capacity at its domestic plants, the business daily said.
With the investment, the nation's largest producer of electric wires and cables plans to raise its annual production capacity by 70 percent to 10 million kilometers (6.2 million miles) in two years, the newspaper said.
Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. will invest 12 billion yen to double optical figure output to 10 million kilometers at its Mie factory in central Japan, it said.
Furukawa, a rival with Sumitomo, would invest seven billion yen to build a new plant at its China factory, south of Tokyo.
At the new plant, Furukawa would produce special fibers for use in wavelength division multiplexing, the latest technology to raise the capacity of fiber-optic networks.
Fujikura Ltd., the nation's fourth largest cable maker, would spend 23 billion yen by March 2002 to expand optical fiber production facilities at its plants in Sakura, west of Tokyo, and Suzuka in central Japan.
Under the project, Fujikura would double its production capacity from 7.5 million kilometers in the year to March 2000.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd. is set to double its capacity to 2.4 million kilometers by March 2002, the daily said.
Demand for optical fiber in Japan subsided in 1998 when investment in basic telecommunications infrastructure ran its course.
But optical fiber demand is surging again following massive spending by new communications carriers and cable television firms on communications networks, the Nihon Keizai said. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)