Submarine Cable linked Philippines, HK, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia Completed

The $400-million Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE) optical fiber system was completed last Friday, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. said in a statement Tuesday.

"This is the largest-capacity international submarine cable system ever to land in the Philippines," said PLDT president and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno, noting, "It is also the most secure."

Among members of the ASE consortium are NTTCom of Japan, StarHub of Singapore, and TM of Malaysia. The submarine cable system was supplied by NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.

The system initially links Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

With its landing station at Daet, Camarines Norte, the ASE provides the first and only direct cable connection from the Philippines to Japan that avoids the earthquake-prone seas south of Taiwan which the cable systems of other carriers pass through.

"The timing of this project is excellent," said Nazareno. "This will enhance the country's global competitiveness in attracting investments for business process outsourcing industry and other ventures at a time when investor interest in the Philippines is on the upswing," he added.

In December 2006, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake off the southwest coast of Taiwan damaged several undersea cables and disrupted telecoms services in several Asian countries including the Philippines.

"The ASE cable system thus significantly raises the resiliency of the country's international communications links," according to the PLDT president.

It can be expanded to other economically vibrant Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia. The ASE can also be connected to other major cable systems to Europe, the Middle East, other parts of Asia, and the United States.

"We can also expand our broadband services with new bandwidth-heavy applications requiring international access such as IP-based data, external video content and other external multimedia services," Nazareno noted.

PLDT said it invested $55 million in the 7,200-km undersea cable network which uses 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps) technology upgradeable to 100 Gbps, with a minimum design capacity of 15 Terabits.

Philippine internet connection for upload and downloading speed is expected to up and continue to vie the European countries which is important for the outsourcing business.

GMA News

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