PLDT ties up with HK telco giant for new undersea cable project

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has tied up with Hong Kong-based PCCW Global to put up a new international fiber optic cable system that would connect the Philippines with 17 international destinations.

PLDT president and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno said the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) Cable System would further increase the company’s international bandwidth capacity and raise the resiliency of its overseas links as it enhances the quality of data and internet connections for its customers.

Nazareno said the 25,000-kilometer undersea cable network system to be funded by the PLDT’s P32 billion capital expenditure program this year would connect Asia, the Middle East, East Africa, and Europe using 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) technology with a minimum capacity use of 10 Gbps.

“The AAE-1 Cable System will provide network diversity and resiliency which is a great enabler in delivering quality service to our customers,” Nazareno said.

He pointed out that a highly resilient international network survives man-made and natural disasters, such as undersea earthquakes, which, in some instances, cause the “isolation” of countries from the rest of the world.

“This new cable system will facilitate the PLDT Group’s growth and expansion, allowing it to serve more customers not only in the country but in Europe and the Middle East as well,” he said.

PCCW Global has presence in more than 3,000 cities and 130 countries and supports a portfolio of integrated global communications solutions. It runs regional centers in Hong Kong, Herndon, Virginia, Paris, London, Gosselies, Johannesburg, Dubai, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore.

The AAE-1, according to him, would connect the Philippines to 17 international destinations, namely France, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, Djibouti, Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong once it is completed in 2016.

“AAE-1 will boost our country’s global competitiveness by being one of the significant factors that could attract investors in business process outsourcing industries (BPOs) and other enterprises,” he said.

Nazareno said the AAE-1 would further enhance the PLDT Group’s capability to offer its customers the latest bandwidth-heavy broadband applications that require international access, such as IP-based data, external video content, and other multimedia services.

“It will also allow the PLDT Group to offer products and services, such as enterprise data and internet services to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

For his part, PLDT International Network vice president Gene Sanchez said wireless arms of the group including Smart Communications Inc. and Sun Cellular would benefit from the increased bandwidth.

“Once operational, AAE-1 will enable PLDT and its group of companies, including Smart Communications and Sun Cellular, to serve the ever-increasing bandwidth requirements of their combined customer base. It will benefit businesses – from large corporations and multinational companies, to small and medium enterprises, to individual homes where the internet is a most valued and useful tool for every member of the family,” Sanchez said.











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