More investments in the improvement of technology Infrastructure, particularly submarine cabling, will be seen in the next few years as the country’s largest telecom company, PLDT, and emerging industry player, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., are implementing projects in partnership with leading global telecom players.
PLDT is planning to build and launch two more international submarine cables. The eastern link which will connect Davao and Baler to Singapore and Japan via Indonesia will be ready by 2022, while the western link will have a cable landing system in Batangas province to be linked to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand with branches in Indonesia and Cambodia. This will be operational by 2023.
The construction and maintenance agreement for these two cable projects are expected to be signed in October or November 2019. These follow the company’s Jupiter project, a 14,000-km transpacific open cable connecting US to Japan with landing stations in California, USA, Daet, Camarines Norte in the Philippines, and Shima and Maruyama in Japan. This is in partnership with Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank, NTT Communications, and PCCW Global, which will be in service early 2020. Said projects form part of PLDT’s USD 1.5 billion capital expenditure for 2019. To date, it has a total of 17 international cable systems.
At the same time, fast-growing Converge ICT, which has half a million household subscriber to date, had been granted USD 250 million funding from Warburg Pincus, one of the world’s leading private equity investors. Converge ICT intends to spend USD 1.8 billion to roll out Infrastructure and bring internet connectivity nationwide, eyeing a 30% share in the market in the next years. Its plans comprise a 1,300-km domestic undersea cable project connecting Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions via 20 landing stations. Likewise, it is planning two to three international submarine cables, one of these would connect the country to Singapore, Indonesia and the US.
(Source: Developing Telecoms, Business Mirror, ZDNet, Inquirer)