LONDON, April 19 -- FLAG Telecom and TyCom Ltd. have agreed in principle to develop their previously announced transpacific systems under a joint development arrangement, with TyCom building the complete transpacific ring, including all undersea cable, electronics and cable stations, for approximately $1.7 billion. FLAG has also selected TyCom to provide sub sea maintenance for its Atlantic and Pacific cable systems. FLAG will own and manage the construction of the system with TyCom as the main contractor. The system will span about 24,100 km and will connect Japan to the West Coast of North America, with landings in Guam and Hawaii on the Southern link. The 8-fiber pair architecture, which will use 64- or 96-channel dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) transmission technology, will provide a system with a maximum capacity of 7.6 Tb/s. The initial work that both FLAG Telecom and TyCom have already carried out on their respective systems will be pooled so that the ready-for-service date for the system will be achieved in the second quarter of 2002, with an estimated total project cost of about $1.9 billion. TyCom will purchase four fiber pairs on the system and will operate the TyCom Trans-Pacific portion of the TyCom global network. FLAG's four fiber pairs will be operated and marketed as FLAG Pacific-1.