PLDT allots P7b for new international cable system

PLDT Inc. said it is investing nearly P7 billion in a new trans-Pacific cable system to further increase its international cabling capacity and reinforce the resiliency of its undersea fiber links to the US and Japan.

“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 and president Manuel Pangilinan said.

“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,” he said.

PLDT’s investment in the new cable system called “Jupiter”  includes purchases by PLDT of complementary terminal equipment and other related facilities in the Philippines, Japan and the US.

Jupiter is a fiber optic submarine cable system with a total length of 14,000 kilometers that will employ wavelength selectable switch technology and which is being built based on the “open cable” model. 

It can deliver a capacity of more than 60 Tbps from the Philippines to Japan and the US directly.  It will be ready for service in early-2020.

A consortium of global companies―Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank, PCCW Global, NTT Communications and PLDT will build and operate Jupiter which 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 to meet the rising data traffic and complement cable systems through increased capacity and diversity in these areas of the Pacific Rim.

PLDT and Smart senior vice president and head of network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo said consortium participants in the Jupiter cable system were acquiring the fiber pairs themselves – not a share of the system’s fiber capacity.

“As a result, PLDT can upgrade the capacity of its own fibers by simply investing in the terminal technologies that boost data throughput, rather than wait for the upgrade cycle of the consortium. This will enable PLDT to increase capacity much more quickly and adjust to changing market needs in a significantly more agile manner,” he said. 

The new cable system will directly link the Philippines to Japan and the West Coast of the US, without any hops or stop overs.  As a result, latency of the data connectivity will be significantly lower.

“As PLDT rolls out more fiber-to-the-home facilities and Smart deploys more LTE and LTE-Advanced base stations in Smart’s mobile network, data traffic is surely going to rise steeply.  It is thus vital that we undertake this project now so we can stay ahead of the curve,” Tamayo said.

Topics: PLDT Inc.
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