PLDT, Inc. said the Jupiter submarine telecommunications cable system that will support its fixed and mobile services is expected to be completed by December this year.

“PLDT continues to work with major Asian carriers and OTT (over-the-top) players for the implementation of the new Jupiter cable system to support the expected new fixed and mobile services requirements,” PLDT said in its annual report released on Tuesday.

“Jupiter, the completion of which has been impacted by COVID-19-related restrictions, is expected to be completed and ready for service by December 2021,” it added.

The Jupiter cable system connects landing points in Japan, Philippines, and the United States.

To recall, the company announced in October 2017 that it would be investing around P7 billion ($136.7 million) in a Trans-Pacific cable system.

It said the fiber optic submarine cable system would be able to deliver an initial capacity of more than 60 terabytes per second from the Philippines to Japan and the United States directly.

Also on Tuesday, PLDT announced that its $600-million dual-tranche bond offer last year had been selected by IFR (International Financing Review) Asia Awards as the “Philippines’ Best Capital Markets Deal in 2020.”

It also said the Asset Triple A Sustainable Capital Markets Country Awards 2020 had likewise declared the same debt offer as the Philippines’ “Best Corporate Bond.”

PLDT said it would use around $400 million from the bond proceeds to repay debt due in the second half of 2020 and in 2021.

The remaining $200 million would be used to fund its capital expenditure requirements for 2020 and 2021.

The telco giant expects to spend between P88 billion and P92 billion this year.

Smart Communications, Inc., the wireless arm of PLDT, announced separately that it partnered with global telecommunications company Vodafone to provide 5G roaming services for subscribers in Australia, which is a key destination for Filipinos.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin