PLDT invests P500 million in international submarine cable link 

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PLDT, Inc. is making an initial P500-million investment in a new international submarine cable link from the Philippines to Africa, Europe, and the rest of Asia.

In a statement, PLDT said the new Asia-Africa-Europe 1 Submarine Cable System (AAE-1) is expected to be launched before the end of the year.

The telecommunications giant said its initial investment in the 25,000-kilometer international cable system will be made through a partner in the consortium that owns the fiber optic submarine cable system.

The AAE-1 cable system works with the other international cable systems that land in the Philippines. The system will link the Philippines to 19 locations abroad, including Hong Kong, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Italy, and France.

“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… 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,” PLDT Global Corp. President and CEO Katrina Luna-Abelarde was quoted as saying in a statement.

The cable system is an addition to PLDT’s network of 15 international cable systems. Four of these systems land in the Philippines, namely: Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE), the largest-capacity international submarine cable system in the Philippines with a landing station located in Daet in Camarines Norte; the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) and the Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe 3 (SEA-ME-WE3) which both land in Nasugbu in Batangas; and the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) that lands in Bauang in La Union.

PLDT International Network Vice-President Genaro C. Sanchez said the submarine infrastructure has 100 Gigabits per second transmission technology and is deployed with minimum design capacity of 4 Terabits (Tbps) per second.

“This submarine infrastructure… will reinforce PLDT’s international links to Europe and the Middle East via its Point-of-Presence (PoP) facilities in Hong Kong and Singapore… With AAE-1, the PLDT Group’s total international capacity will be over 4 Terabits per second (Tbps), significantly greater than that of competition, further underscoring the superiority of the PLDT network,” Mr. Sanchez said in a statement.

PLDT is ramping up its investments to expand coverage of its fixed and wireless network. For this year, PLDT set aside P38 billion for capital expenditures, mainly for network modernization and expansion program.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo