PLDT, INC. is looking to fire up its submarine cable link connecting the Philippines to three continents within the third quarter of the year.
PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Eric R. Alberto told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Digital Convention 2018 last week the company will soon be switching on the company’s Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) Cable System.
“I think it’s going live, the (AAE-1)…. It’s now connected within Asia, but I think it’s stretching out to connect in the Middle East to Europe. I think the terminal landing station is in France,” he said.
Mr. Alberto noted the project initially costs $10 million, but PLDT may have to invest more or swap some of its excess capacity on the other side of the transpacific as it boosts capacity.
Last year, PLDT said the 25,000-kilometer cable will link the Philippines to 19 countries in the three continents: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Yemen, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.
“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,” PLDT International Network Vice-President Genaro C. Sanchez previously said.
The company partnered with Hong Kong-based telco provider PCCW Global for the project.
PLDT has set a P58-billion budget for capital expenditures in 2018. During the first quarter, it reported a 39% increase in net income to P6.9 billion on the back of improved performance of its wireless business.
By the end of the year, the company is targeting to reach a full-year core income of P23-24 billion.
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. — Denise A. Valdez