PLDT invests P7B in undersea cable with 60 TBps of bandwidth
MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Incorporated is investing nearly P7 billion ($136.7 million) for a new Trans-Pacific cable system that will reinforce its undersea fiber links to the United States and Japan. This would be able to transmit 60 terabytes of data per second (TBps), faster than other active undersea cables.
A number of companies – Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank, PCCW Global, NTT Communications, and PLDT – signed commercial agreements to build and operate the cable system called Jupiter.
Jupiter will directly connect Maruyama and Shima in Japan and Los Angeles in the US to Daet, PLDT's cable landing station in Camarines Norte in the Philippines. (READ: PLDT unit spending P11 billion for faster internet)
PLDT told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, October 30, that it made the investment to meet the rising data traffic and complement cable systems through increased capacity and diversity in the Pacific Rim.
The telco added that the fiber optic submarine cable system has a total length of around 14,000 kilometers, using wavelength selectable switch technology and being built based on the open cable model.
"We are investing in this new cable system in anticipation of the continued explosion of data traffic over the next few years, as households and businesses in the Philippines adopt more and more digital services," PLDT chairman, president, and CEO Manuel Pangilinan said in the disclosure.
PLDT said Jupiter can directly deliver a capacity of more than 60 TBps from the Philippines to Japan and the US. It will be ready for service in early 2020.
"Along with our other technology initiatives, this new project will enable PLDT to gear up for the emerging 'Gigabit Society' where ultra-high-speed connectivity will support a wide range of bandwidth-heavy, low-latency digital applications and internet-of-things (IOT) services," Pangilinan added.
Ramping up capacity
PLDT Global Corporation president and CEO Kat Luna-Abelarde said the Jupiter undersea cable project is specifically designed to give data service providers like PLDT the ability to quickly ramp up capacity when needed.
PLDT said consortium participants in the Jupiter cable system are acquiring the fiber pairs themselves – not a share of the system's fiber capacity.
As a result, PLDT said it can upgrade the capacity of its own fibers by simply investing in the terminal technologies that boost data throughput, rather than waiting for the upgrade cycle of the consortium.
The telco added that the new cable system will directly link the Philippines to Japan and the US West Coast, "without any hops or stopovers."
As a result, latency of the data connectivity will be significantly lower.
PLDT has been investing heavily in international submarine cables to meet the growing connectivity needs of the Philippines, mainly the requirements of the country's business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. (READ: PLDT building submarine cable for PH link to 3 continents)
In 2014, PLDT partnered with Hong Kong-based PCCW Global to acquire capacity in the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) Cable System, a 25,000-kilometer undersea cable network system that connects Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and Europe.
The year before, PLDT, together with its partners, completed the construction of the Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE), the largest-capacity international submarine cable system in the Philippines with a landing station located in Daet, Camarines Norte.
PLDT has also landed other international cable systems in the Philippines, such as the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) and the Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe 3 (SEA-ME-WE3), which both land in Nasugbu, Batangas, and the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), in Bauang, La Union. – Rappler.com