New undersea cable system more than doubles PLDT international bandwidth
Date: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 17:20
Leading telecoms provider PLDT more than doubles its international bandwidth capacity and raises the resiliency of its overseas links with the completion of the $400-million Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) optical fiber cable system
PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno
Image credited to Smart
A project undertaken by PLDT in partnership with leading telecom firms in Asia, the 7,200-kilometer undersea cable network uses 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps) technology that is upgradeable to 100 Gbps, with a minimum design capacity of 15 Terabits. PLDT’s share in the investment is $55 million.
“This is the largest-capacity international submarine cable system ever to land in the Philippines,” said PLDT President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno. “It is also the most secure.”
With its landing station at Daet, Camarines Norte, the ASE provides the first and only direct cable connection from the Philippines to Japan that avoids the earthquake-prone seas south of Taiwan which the cable systems of other carriers pass through.
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake off the southwest coast of Taiwan in December 2006 damaged several undersea cables, disrupting telecoms services in several Asian countries, including the Philippines.
“The ASE cable system thus significantly raises the resiliency of the country’s international communications links,” Nazareno added.
“The timing of this project is excellent. This will enhance the country’s global competitiveness in attracting investments for business process outsourcing industries (BPOs) and other ventures at a time when investor interest in the Philippines is on the upswing,” he pointed out.
The ASE system initially links Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore through a fiber optic cable. In the next phases, it can be expanded to other economically vibrant Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia. The ASE can also be connected to other major cable systems to Europe, the Middle East, the other parts of Asia, and the United States of America.
Among the members of the ASE consortium are NTTCom of Japan, StarHub of Singapore, and TM of Malaysia. The submarine cable system was supplied by NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.
Nazareno said that with ASE, PLDT and its group of companies, including Smart and Sun Cellular, can now serve the increasing international bandwidth requirements of their combined customer base.
“We can also expand our broadband services with new bandwidth-heavy applications requiring international access such as IP-based data, external video content and other external multimedia services,” he added.
“The ASE landing station located in Daet, Camarines Norte will be the only landing station in the East Coast of the Philippines," PLDT EVP and Head of Enterprise and International and Carrier Business Ernesto R. Alberto said. “This will definitely be a boon for enterprise clients who demand resiliency in their operations such as banks, semiconductor firms, call centers, and BPO companies among others, as well as small and medium enterprises that do business through the internet."
PLDT VP and Head of PLDT ALPHA Enterprise and Smart Enterprise Sales and Marketing Jovy Hernandez said PLDT also has two other international landing stations in Batangas and La Union.
“With three landing stations, PLDT now operates the most number of cable landing stations among the telco operators in the country,” he pointed out. He also noted that the three landing stations will be interconnected to enable capacity rerouting for greater resiliency in PLDT’s international network.
"We have designed a future-ready network that can potentially supply more than 15 Terabits per second capacity, initially using 40 Gbps wavelength technology, and eventually 100 Gbps wavelength capability,” said PLDT Network Services Assurance Senior Vice President George N. Lim.
The start of cable laying work for ASE was marked by a ceremony in November last year in the landing station in Daet. This is PLDT's third landing station, after those in Nasugbu, Batangas for the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) and Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe 3 (SMW3), and Bauang, La Union for Asia-America Gateway (AAG).