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PLDT to build $75-M subsea cable link within Asia

PLDT, Inc. will start the construction of the $75-million Philippine link of Asia Direct Cable (ADC) in Batangas as part of a plan to expand its international cable network.

“Along with PLDT’s existing international submarine cable systems, the Asia Direct Cable will boost and diversify the Philippines’ connectivity within the Asian region,” PLDT President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio said in a media release.

“ADC will strengthen not only PLDT’s global network, but will also further advance the country’s digitalization and growing digital economy,” Mr. Panlilio added.

The target completion date for all the landing links of ADC is by the end of 2023, with the construction of the 9,400-kilometer subsea cable commencing in the Philippines.

“Submarine fiber optic cables are among the most critical components of the internet’s infrastructure, as they serve as the global backbone connecting countries while carrying massive amounts of data that enable digital trade across the globe,” the company said.

When completed, ADC will link seven international cable landing points across East and Southeast Asia, namely; Batangas, Philippines; Tuas, Singapore; Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong; Maruyama, Japan; Quy Nhon, Vietnam; Sri Racha, Thailand; and Shantou, China.

The cable system will feature a minimum of 200 gigahertz dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) system per wavelength design.

Once equipped, this will provide 36 terabytes per second (Tbps) additional international network capacity that will make delivery of hyperscale data across East and Southeast Asia faster.

According to PLDT, ADC together with the Jupiter cable system will drive global data straight to and from VITRO Sta. Rosa and the rest of its data center facilities across the country.

“[It will strengthen] the Philippines’ advantage as a strategic digital hub in the region,” the company said.

PLDT said that the interconnection between these infrastructures will enhance the country’s IP (internet protocol) ecosystem hosted in the VITRO internet exchange.

“The Asia Direct Cable will strongly bolster PLDT’s mission to make the Philippines the next hyperscaler destination in Asia-Pacific,” PLDT Senior Vice President & Head of Enterprise Business Group Joseph Ian G. Gendrano said.

“This investment solidifies our commitment to enrich and synergize the country’s Hyperscale Ecosystem of connected digital infrastructures, such as data centers, subsea cables, domestic fiber network, 5G, cloud, and IOT,” Mr. Gendrano added.

ADC is a global consortium of communications and technology companies across the region, namely; PLDT, China Telecom Corp. Ltd.; China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd.; National Telecom, Inc.; Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.; SoftBank Corp.; Tata Communications Ltd.; and Viettel Group.

The upcoming activation of ADC and Apricot cable systems will increase the number of international submarine cable systems of PLDT to 19, which will expand its international network capacity from 60 Tbps to over 130 Tbps.

On Monday, shares in PLDT climbed by P45 or 3.02% to P1,535 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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