Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. plans to invest up to $100 million to build a second international cable landing to the US to support the rising demand for high-speed broadband.
“We are still in the planning stage for our second international cable landing to the US. The investment could range between $50 million and $100 million,” PLDT International Network vice president Gene Sanchez said.
“We are targeting to sign the memorandum of understanding within the year. It’s going to be a consortium of telecom companies,” he added.
Sanchez said the company was looking at Daet in Camarines Norte or Batangas as landing station in the Philippines.
PLDT’s first international cable landing to the US was the $550-million Asia-America Gateway, a 20,000-kilometer high-bandwidth optical fiber linking Southeast Asia to the US. PLDT contributed $50 million to the project.
The AAG consortium consists of 19 parties providing connectivity among the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, Guam, Hawaii and the US West Coast. The facility also supplied seamless interconnection with other major cable systems connecting Europe, Australia, other parts of Asia and Africa and using Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing technology to provide upgradeable, future-proof transmission facilities for telecommunications traffic.
PLDT leads the country among providers with the most number of international cables as well as landing stations. The AAG cable will be PLDT’s fourth international cable link up for upgrade to 100G technology, following the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 and the Japan-US Cable system. The Asia Submarine Cable Express 100G upgrade is ongoing.
“We’ve always anticipated the need to constantly increase our capacity especially in serving the country’s leading industries given their demand for a resilient, low latency, and expansive data-driven network such as the BPO and outsourcing industries,” said PLDT head of Enterprise, International and Carrier Business Eric Alberto earlier.
PLDT was also the first network operator in the Philippines to deploy 100G in its domestic fiber optic network. When it was launched in 2012, the Philippines rose in leadership position in Asia-Pacific, among only a handful of other countries in the region to deploy 100G technology in its domestic network.
PLDT by the end of 2014, PLDT had an additional 15,000 kilometers of new fiber optic cable facilities with an estimated investment of over P1 billion to reach nearly 100,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables laid out to meet the surge of expected data traffic, more than four times the competition.
PLDT earlier reported core profit, which excludes foreign exchange transactions and other non-recurring items, of P9.3 billion in the first quarter from P9.8 billion last year.
Net profit was nearly flat at P9.39 billion in the January-to-March period, as revenue stagnated at P42.6 billion. Service revenue dipped 2 percent to P40.5 billion in the quarter, following the drop in short messaging service and voice revenues.
PLDT said wireless service revenues slid 4 percent to P27.9 billion in the first quarter from P29 billion last year.