PLDT eyes new data center, international cable investments

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Integrated telco services provider PLDT Inc. is looking to invest in new big-ticket digital infrastructure that will boost the country’s position as the next hyperscaler hub in the Asia Pacific.

PLDT Enterprise vice president and head of ICT business Nico Alcoseba said the PLDT Group would  build a hyperscaler data center facility, which will be the first of its kind in the country.

“We’re very optimistic and very bullish about the hyperscaler demand and enterprise demand so apart from investing to fully equip the remaining capacity of our 10 data centers, I am happy to announce that we have secured approval to proceed with building a hyperscaler data center facility,” Alcoseba said.

Alcoseba said the facility, which is currently in the planning stages, is “a very urgent project” for the PLDT Group.

“What’s different about this hyperscaler data center is that it will have more capacity. There will be more power capacity in this one facility versus all our 10 data centers combined. So that’s how power-dense this facility will be,” he said.

“It will also be designed to be global class in energy efficiency and reliability. It will use the latest in green technology. Finally and definitely most important, it will be powered in part by renewable energy,” Alcoseba said.

Alcoseba said there is an  influx of hyperscalers, which are global technology companies providing cloud and internet-based services, which require huge amounts of space, power and connectivity in regions they expand in, to allow rapid IT scaling that will support their massive customer base and user demand surges.

“We have been fortunate enough to have been serving hyperscaler customers. In fact majority of them are in our data centers. So we have had insights and we do understand their requirements. We already have been able to elevate our infrastructure design, our operating practices, and business models according to what they need,” Alcoseba said.

“But with the goal of making the Philippines the next hyperscaler hub in APAC, we intend to serve their much bigger requirements,” he said.

PLDT’s investments in international cables are also seen adding resiliency and capacity to its network and boosting  the country’s strategic position as a premium data and cable hub in the region for global hyperscalers.

In the last two years, the PLDT Group announced three international cable network system projects, which when completed would bring its participation in 18 international cable systems.

Its current participation in multiple international cable systems strongly links the country to all parts of the world.

“Based on our experience, capacity demand growth never stops. So we’re not stopping at the three (ongoing international cable) projects. We continue to look for projects out there and if there isn’t any suited to our market’s requirements, we initiate projects together with our close partners,” PLDT Enteprise vice president and head of international facilities investment management Gene Sanchez said.

“At the moment, we have been invited and are looking at investing into another trans-Pacific cable, that means crossing the Pacific going to North America, that’s been in the water for some time. This is to supplement our supply to the Philippines-US route,” he said.

Sanchez said the PLDT Group is also in the early stages of studies and planning on separate projects that will provide more fibers from the Philippines to its Asian neighbors, as well as to Europe.

“We’ve been working on this with a close carrier partner. We’ve been in discussion with another hyperscaler customer, hearing their requirements, trying to tailor fit the design of the system,” Sanchez said.

“These are all in the planning stage and we’ll be announcing this as soon as we can get some firm agreements,” he said.

PLDT Enterprise has also officially launched its newest digital offering called the internet of possibilities which aims to open up new possibilities for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and deployment among enterprises and consumers in the country.

The Internet of Possibilities by PLDT and Smart is a unified platform for the effective management of connectivity and usage of a multitude of connected IoT devices within enterprises.

It seamlessly integrates existing business processes into a common, open platform for data and insights that can be used to open unlimited business growth opportunities to various industries.

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