LONDON, Nov. 1 -- Cable & Wireless Plc has announced plans to construct an optical fiber network in Japan for $1.4 billion (150 billion Yen). The network will be installed over a five-year period and feature a new standard in internet protocol and data services, and will be geared toward business customers, said Cable & Wireless. This project represents the biggest single investment to date by a UK company in the Japanese telecommunications industry. Today's announcement reinforces the importance of Japan as one of the three key markets for Cable & Wireless' global IP and data strategy, together with the US and Europe said Graham Wallace, CEO of Cable & Wireless. Japan is the second largest market in the world for telecommunications services and is Cable & Wireless' strategic hub in Asia. The network will connect approximately 80 cities in all 47 prefectures, and will have 65 points of presence and 75 points of interconnect, the company said. International call operator IDC, which was recently acquired by Cable & Wireless in a takeover battle with Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., will have its capacity nearly tripled as a result of the project. The service will be available to all of Japan's major corporations and SME businesses, said Cable & Wireless. Metropolitan networks will be constructed in Tokyo and Osaka, using a mixture of fiber, DSL and LMDS technologies.