NEC's new undersea cable quadruples data transfer

Major Japanese electronics maker NEC says it has found a way to squeeze vastly more data into undersea cables. The company has developed a line that can transfer four times as much information without being any thicker.

NEC says it has managed to fit four optic transmission lines into a thin glass fiber that is a fraction of a millimeter thick. Cables currently have only one line in a fiber.

There are about 1.2 million kilometers of undersea cables installed worldwide, an amount long enough to go around the earth 30 times.

NEC hopes the new technology will capitalize on an increasing need for global data transmission. Demand is expected to keep growing 30 to 40 percent a year.

US IT giants like Facebook and Google are making huge investments in undersea cables to secure their own communication networks.

Chinese firms are also boosting their presence in the market.

NEC is a major player in the installation of submarine cables.

The company plans to commercialize its new technology within a few years.