By Emmie V. Abadilla
PLDT Inc. has finalized the technical and management agreements with a consortium of international providers for its P7-billion direct undersea fiber project linking it up with the United States and Japan via the trans-Pacific cable system called “JUPITER”, the telco yesterday announced.
Spanning 14,000 kilometers, the new undersea fiber will connect to PLDT’s cable landing station in Daet, Camarines Norte and will provide additional capacity of more than 22Tbps (terabits per second) from the Philippines directly to and from Japan, and 17.6 Tbps to the West Coast in the US.
The Jupiter cable system is expected to be completed and operational by third quarter next year. Its technology will allow PLDT and other consortium participants, such as Amazon, Facebook, SoftBank, PCCW Global and NTT Communications, to quickly upgrade capacity in response to growing data traffic and customer data usage.
“This project will enable us to improve the capacity and resilience of the country’s international connectivity. It’s of strategic importance given that a significant amount of content are downloaded by data users from servers abroad, particularly from the United States and Japan,” according to PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Alfred S. Panlilio.
The addition of Jupiter positions PLDT to serve international connectivity requirements better, particularly for enterprise customers.
“JUPITER not only provides increased capacity going to business-relevant markets, it likewise adds strategic diversity options out of multiple international cable system routes and cable landing stations which businesses can choose from,” added Jovy Hernandez, Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Group.
Under the open cable model, consortium participants in the JUPITER cable system are acquiring the fiber cables themselves, not just a share of the system’s fiber capacity.