PLDT building landing station in Daet for new undersea cable system

Dominant carrier PLDT announced Wednesday that marine construction work has started on the $300-million Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) which, when completed in the third quarter of 2012, will more than double PLDT’s existing international bandwidth capacity.

The 7,200-kilometer undersea cable network project is being undertaken by PLDT, NTTCom of Japan, and StarHub of Singapore, in partnership with NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.

The start of cable laying work was marked by a ceremony last week in Daet, Camarines Norte where PLDT’s cable landing station is being built. This is PLDT’s third landing station, after those in Nasugbu, Batangas and Bauang, La Union.

“We have designed a future-ready network that can potentially supply more than 15 Terabits per second capacity, initially using 40 Gigabits per second wavelength technology, and in the future, 100 Gigabits per second wavelength capability,” said PLDT network services assurance senior vice president George N. Lim.

He added that “the ASE system will initially link Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore through fiber optic cable that spans 7,200 kilometers. It will also connect us to Malaysia, and in the next phases, potentially to other economically vibrant Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam and Thailand. ASE can be connected to other major cable systems to Europe, the Middle East, the other parts of Asia, and the United States of America.”

The ASE is a new generation, high-bandwidth, optical fiber undersea cable system. It is the biggest capacity international submarine cable ever to land in the Philippines which will enable PLDT and its group of companies, including Smart, Digitel and Sun to serve the increasing bandwidth requirements of their combined customer base.

Once operational, the new cable system will benefit large businesses like banks, call centers, and BPO companies, as well as small and medium enterprises that do business through the Internet.

With the ASE, new bandwidth heavy broadband applications requiring international access, such as IP-based data, external video content, and other external multimedia services can be offered by the PLDT Group, and easily accessed by its customers.

ASE will further fortify the resiliency of PLDT’s international network. PLDT network planning and engineering vice president Gene Sanchez explained that “a highly resilient international network is expected to survive man-made and natural disasters such as the major undersea earthquake near the Bashi channel in December 2006 which resulted in the temporary ‘isolation’ of some countries. ASE can easily help fulfill such aspiration of PLDT.”

“With a highly resilient network, PLDT for instance will be able to divert all or part of its traffic towards Japan and the US, via the new diverse route that ASE will traverse if problems, such as multiple cable cuts happen to APCN2, EAC, and AAG cables which all pass through the Bashi channel between Taiwan and Luzon Island,” Sanchez said.

PLDT officials marked the start of the construction of the cable landing station with a ceremony in Daet, Camarines Norte
Daet Municipal mayor Tito Sarte Sarion said the PLDT International Cable Landing Station being constructed in Barangay Bagasbas in the municipality will house the ASE cable’s state-of-the-art fiber optic equipment and supervisory systems.

“Our municipality of Daet is very fortunate to host one of the most powerful and far-reaching telecommunications facilities not only in the country but the Asia-Pacific,” Sarion said.


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