PLDT building submarine cable for PH link to 3 continents
MANILA, Philippines – Listed telecommunications giant PLDT Incorporated is building a 25,000-kilometer international submarine cable linking the Philippines to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
With an initial investment of P500 million, this submarine cable is seen to improve the quality of data and internet connections of PLDT, which has been under fire for slow, costly services in the past few years.
PLDT is set to open its new Asia-Africa-Europe 1 Submarine Cable System (AAE-1) before the end of 2017, it said in a statement on Thursday, October 12.
The Manuel Pangilinan-led firm said it has partnered with "a consortium that owns the fiber optic submarine cable system" linking the 3 continents.
"The AAE-1 cable system will further reinforce the resiliency of PLDT's overseas links, expand the capacity and enhance the quality of our data and internet connections," Kat Luna-Abelarde, chief executive officer of PLDT Global Corporation, said in the statement.
The AAE-1 cable system, in tandem with the other international cable systems that land in the Philippines, will connect the country to 19 international destinations. (READ: PLDT partners with Huawei for 5G rollout in 2020)
These are Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Yemen, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France.
"It will further accelerate PLDT's digital pivot and expansion, allowing it to serve more customers not only in the country but in the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe, as well," Abelarde said.
Gene Sanchez, vice president of PLDT International Network, said the submarine infrastructure – with its minimum design capacity of 40 terabits per second (tbps) – will reinforce the telco's international links to Europe and the Middle East through its point-of-presence facilities in Hong Kong and Singapore.
"With AAE-1, the PLDT group's total international capacity will be over 4 tbps, significantly greater than that of competition, further underscoring the superiority of the PLDT network," Sanchez added.
The new cable system will become part of PLDT's global network of 15 international cable systems.
Four of these systems land in the Philippines:
- the Asia Submarine-Cable Express, the largest-capacity international submarine cable system in the Philippines with a landing station in Daet, Camarines Norte
- the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 that lands in Nasugbu, Batangas
- the Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe 3 with a landing station in Nasugbu, Batangas
- the Asia-America Gateway that lands in Bauang, La Union
PLDT's rival Globe Telecom Incorporated in August launched a $250-million Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) submarine cable system providing a link between Davao City and the US.
The 14,500-kilometer undersea cable system connects to Globe's cable landing station in Barangay Talomo, Davao City. It is the 1st direct connection of Globe to the US via Guam, Hawaii, and California.
For 2017, PLDT has set its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) target to P70 billion, from P61.2 billion in 2016.
PLDT also lowered its capital spending budget to P38 billion in 2017, from the original P46 billion.
With improved quarterly results, PLDT maintained its core profit guidance, including exceptionals, of "around P28 billion" for 2017. – Rappler.com