PLDT starts work on submarine cable projectBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co. has started construction on its part of the multinational Asia Sub-Marine Cable Express (ASE)—a new undersea fiber optic system that will improve Internet connection speeds in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a statement on Wednesday, PLDT said marine construction work had started on the $300-million ASE, which when completed in the third quarter of 2012 will more than double PLDT’s existing international bandwidth capacity.
The 7,200-kilometer undersea cable network project is being undertaken by PLDT, NTTCom of Japan and StarHub of Singapore, in partnership with NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.
The start of cable laying work was marked by a ceremony last week in Daet, Camarines Norte, where PLDT’s cable landing station is being built. This is PLDT’s third landing station, after those in Nasugbu, Batangas; and Bauang, La Union.
“We have designed a future-ready network that can potentially supply more than 15 terabits per second capacity, initially using 40 gigabits per second wavelength technology and, in the future, 100 gigabits per second wavelength capability,” PLDT Network Services Assurance senior vice president George N. Lim said.
PLDT earlier said it would spend $55 million for its part of the cable system.
“The ASE system will initially link Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore through fiber optic cable that spans 7,200 km,” Lim said.
He said it would create a more robust connection between the Philippines and Malaysia, and in the next phases, other economically vibrant Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand. ASE can be connected to other major cable systems to Europe, the Middle East, the other parts of Asia, and the US.
The ASE is the biggest-capacity international submarine cable ever to land in the Philippines, which will enable PLDT and its group of companies, including Smart, Digitel and Sun to serve the increasing bandwidth requirements of their combined customer base.
Once operational, the new cable system will benefit large businesses like banks, call centers and BPO companies, as well as small and medium enterprises that do business through the Internet.
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