PLDT Investing in Cable for Asia-North America Link

PLDT invests in additional cable systems that link Asia and North America to persuade tech giants to set up data facilities in the PhilippinesBy Elijah Felice Rosales, The Philippine Star
November 30, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Telco giant PLDT Inc. will invest in additional cable systems that will link Asia and North America to persuade tech giants like Facebook to set up data facilities in the Philippines.

PLDT plans to reach one petabit per second international capacity within the next 10 years to gear up for the potential entry of tech behemoths looking for investment sites.

PLDT senior vice president and head of enterprise business group Jojo Gendrano said the company will invest in new cable systems at least once a year to raise its data capacity.

“We try to think 10 years out. We have this thing called Project Peta within our group. We will be at 130 terabits/second [by 2024] and pretty soon we will be touching one petabit/second of aggregate capacity. Probably in five to 10 years, we should hit petabit levels,” Gendrano told The STAR.

PLDT started last week landing the fiber ports for the $75-million Asia Direct Cable (ADC) that will link countries around East and Southeast Asia. The ADC begins in the Philippines and will connect to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Once activated next year, the ADC will expand the international capacity of PLDT to 96 terabits/second, boosting the speed by which data is brought into the country.

In addition, PLDT vice president and global capacity strategy head Gene Sanchez said the telco would complete by 2024 the $80-million Apricot cable system that should add another 35 terabits/second in international capacity.

Sanchez said the Apricot would host trunk stations in Guam, Japan, and Singapore, improving the efficiency of data transfer among Asia Pacific countries.

In the long run, Sanchez said all investments PLDT is making on submarine cable systems are geared toward persuading tech giants to locate data offices here. PLDT sees an opportunity in the brewing tension between China and the US to entice investors to move to the Philippines.

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