PLDT says its cable bandwidth will reach 8 Tbps in 2 years

Telco giant PLDT has announced that it is expanding its international cable system capacity to address the growing need for overseas data connectivity.


The company said that by end-2017, the total capacity of its international submarine cable links (including non-Philippines terminating) will reach 4.497 Terabits per second (Tbps).

This, it said, is a nearly 140-percent increase in capacity from end-2015, when total capacity stood at 1.889 Tbps. By end of 2019, PLDT said its submarine cable capacity will reach 8.413 Tbps.

The statement from PLDT comes a day after the Philippine government formally announced a major broadband infrastructure deal with Facebook wherein the social media behemoth will provide 2 Tbps of bandwidth in exchange for the use of two cable landing stations that will cut through Luzon.

“The build-up of our international cable system capacity is in step with the ongoing expansion of our domestic fiber transmission network. These two efforts support both our fiber to the home last-mile access and our mobile data networks. As a result, we will be progressively able to provide higher levels of internet service to more areas of the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart SVP and head of network planning and engineering.

Moreover, PLDT said it will further boost its capacity through its P7-billion investment in the new Trans-Pacific cable system called “Jupiter” which will further increase the capacity and resiliency of its direct undersea fiber links to the United States and Japan.

The new cable system is being built by a consortium of global companies that include Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank, PCCW Global and NTT Communications.

With a total length of about 14,000 kilometers, it can deliver a capacity of more than 60 Tbps from the Philippines directly to the United States and Japan and will be ready for service in early 2020.

“What is noteworthy about the Jupiter cable system is its use of the ‘open cable model’, which allows PLDT to quickly increase its undersea cable capacity in order to respond to rising market needs,” said PLDT VP and head of international network Gene Sanchez.

Sanchez explained that the consortium participants in the Jupiter cable system are acquiring the fiber cables themselves, not just a share of the system’s fiber capacity.

This way, PLDT said it can increase the capacity of its own fiber links by investing in the terminal technologies that boost data throughput. Unlike in other cable system, PLDT said it does not have to wait for the upgrade cycle of the consortium.

“This way, we can be much more responsive to the needs of the customers we serve,” he said. “This will enable us to better address the needs of our PLDT fiber to home customers and our LTE/3G mobile data users,” he added.

PLDT has invested in other international submarine cables to meet the growing connectivity needs of the country. In 2014, PLDT partnered with Hong Kong-based PCCW Global to acquire capacity in the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) Cable System, a 25,000-kilometer undersea cable network system that connects Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and Europe.

The year before, the company together with its partners completed the construction of the Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE), the largest-capacity international submarine cable system in the Philippines with a landing station located in Daet, Camarines Norte.

PLDT has also landed other international cable systems in the Philippines, such as the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) and the Southeast Asia-Middle East-West Europe 3 (SEA-ME-WE3), which both land in Nasugbu, Batangas, and the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), in Bauang, La Union.

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