PLDT to increase international capacity 5x by end-2021 with completion of Jupiter cable system

The country’s largest integrated telecommunications provider PLDT is set on expanding its international bandwidth capacity by five-fold with the completion of the Jupiter Cable system that will further boost the country’s strategic position as a premium data and cable hub in the region among the growing interest of global hyperscalers.

Currently, the PLDT Group has over 10 Terabit/s in capacity that runs along its 15 major international cable systems catering to the massive data traffic going in and out of the country. Barring any construction delays due to pandemic and other travel restrictions, the Jupiter Cable system could see completion by the end of the year, increasing PLDT’s international capacity to close to 60 terabit/s ready to scale with the growing demands for digital services.

This major expansion advances the Philippines standing as an ideal trans-Pacific hub connecting South East Asia to the United States. Infrastracture for international cable systems and a robust data center space are among the top factors for determining the deployment roadmap of hyperscalers.

“This further investment in subsea cables, along with the expansion of other physical infrastructures such as network towers and 5G sites, secures the future of our country in this increasingly digital world.  We now have workloads that call for hyperscale data centers and we are focusing efforts in building capacities to bring hyperscalers into the country.  With the ecosystem that we are building – the localization of content, combined with the telco infrastructure of PLDT and the other telcos in our VITRO data center, we enable seamless end-user experience in leading-edge proportions,” said PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.

“Ultimately, our vision is to help make the Philippines a strategic hyperscaler hub in the region.  The completion of the Jupiter Cable System, along with other upcoming new international cable systems, will highlight the Philippines’ potential in the hyperscalers’ roadmap” he added.

The Jupiter submarine cable will employ at least 400 Gbps wavelength division multiplex transmission technology to connect landing points in Japan, Philippines, and the United States which will also boost PLDT’s foray into more digital services including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the roll out of 5G-powered technologies, as well as augment its existing fixed and mobile services.

“There is a direct correlation between connectivity and data center deployments of hyper scalers. Determining where the growth of data centers will come from requires following where the cables terminate,” said PLDT VP and International Facilities Investments Management Head Gene Sanchez.

Even prior to the pandemic, the PLDT Group has heavily invested in upgrading its capacity ahead of demand to ensure the network is ready for the massive growth in data traffic serving video services, cloud solutions, multinational companies and bandwidth-intensive industries such as the BPOs and the rising interest of hyperscalers in the country.

“Despite the pandemic, we are closely working with global partners  from international telco carriers and major hyperscalers to build two more cable systems that will terminate in both the eastern and western coast of the Philippines that again, when completed, will further double our end-2021 capacity,” he added.

Recently, PLDT secured an additional 1Tbps capacity on its Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) international cable that further boosts the connectivity links of the country to Singapore, Hongkong, and Japan. PLDT has also invested in the new Asia Direct Cable system that is set to be completed by end of next year and another international cable system in partnership with hyperscalers and international carriers.

These expansion plans complement the bandwidth requirements of the growing data traffic that has accelerated because of the pandemic.

Currently, PLDT has extensive participation in 14 international submarine cable systems and one terrestrial system carrying data traffic going in and out of the Philippines. These include the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), Asia-submarine Cable Express (ASE), APCN2, and South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 which are routed through PLDT’s three existing cable landing stations situated in Batangas, Daet, and La Union.

Through these multiple cable routes, PLDT’s network’s ability to reroute and redirect data traffic during fiber cuts or maintenance activities ensures the seamless delivery of connectivity and services of customers despite such circumstances.