Pangilinan-led PLDT Inc. is set to invest $80 million in the APRICOT cable consortium which will connect the Philippines to countries such as Japan and Singapore with a design capacity of over 190 terabits per second.
According to PLDT, its participation in the construction of the newest international undersea cable system will boost its network capability to service the growing data traffic driven by more digital services and new technologies such as 5G.
“We continue to invest in international submarine cable systems, which are necessary infrastructure for global communications supporting ICT services,” PLDT and Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio said in an emailed statement.
“The construction of this APRICOT cable system is vital to the Philippine economy with rapidly increasing data traffic and is aligned with our efforts to make the Philippines a strategic data center hub in the region,” he added.
PLDT said the consortium is with four other parties, with the APRICOT cable system targeted to be fully operational in 2024.
It will feature state-of-the-art facilities with 400G transmission technology and multiple pairs of high-capacity optical fibers.
It also will have submersible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM), employing wavelength selective switch (WSS) for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration based on space division multiplexing design.
Aside from Japan and Singapore, the 12,000-kilometer cable system will connect the Philippines to Indonesia, Taiwan, and Guam.
“APRICOT assures our international and enterprise customers with sustained capacity availability and more resiliency options in support of their growing demand for data and continuing digital transformation,” said PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Head Jovy Hernandez .
“This likewise enhances how the Philippines connect to the rest of the world, a big plus for global hyperscalers who are looking at our country for their cloud region expansion,” he added.
PLDT said it is currently involved in 14 international submarine cable systems and one terrestrial system carrying data traffic to and from the Philippines.
These include the Asia-America Gateway, the Asia-submarine Cable Express, the APCN2, and South-East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3, which are routed through the company’s existing cable landing stations in Batangas, Daet, and La Union.
The Pangilinan Group last year said it is now working to build three more landing stations in the next three years, including the APRICOT system.
Shares in PLDT are down by P26.00 or 2.04% at P1,249.00 apiece versus as of 10:29 a.m. versus last Friday’s finish of P1,275.00. —KG, GMA News