PLDT invests $80 million in APRICOT cable system

Philippine fully integrated telecommunications company PLDT is set to further expand its network bandwidth capacity, with its participation in the construction of the newest international undersea cable system, APRICOT.

PLDT said the participation will boost its network capability to service the country’s growing data traffic driven by more digital services and new technologies such as 5G, and adds to the country’s advantage to help draw in global hyperscalers expanding in the region.

Targeted to be fully operational in 2024, PLDT is investing $80 million (or around P3.9 billion in today’s exchange rate) in the APRICOT cable system, along with four other parties that have formed a consortium.

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“APRICOT is key to enhancing network resilience because new cable landing stations in Luzon and Mindanao will be built as part of this submarine cable system,” said Gene Sanchez, VP and head of International Facilities Investments Management, PLDT. “With the cable to be routed via the eastern coast of the Philippines, it will also increase the submarine cable route diversity in the Asia-Pacific region. PLDT together with our global partners has worked to design APRICOT using state-of-the-art, upgradeable technology.”

Bandwidth configuration

The new cable system features state-of-the-art facilities featuring 400G transmission technology and multiple pairs of high-capacity optical fibers. It also features state-of-the-art submersible ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) employing WSS (wavelength selective switch) for a grid-less and flexible bandwidth configuration, based on SDM (Space Division Multiplexing) design. These features ensure that massive amounts of data traffic will be facilitated, creating exceptional service quality to end-users.

Slated to further augment PLDT’s international capacity for data traffic, particularly to the United States and across Asia and the Pacific, the 12,000-kilometer-long cable system will have a design capacity of more than 190Tbps connecting the Philippines to Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Guam.

The APRICOT cable project will further serve PLDT Group’s fixed and wireless subscribers on the consumer level, and its large enterprise client base which is already connected by its fiber footprint, which spans more than 524,000 kilometers as of end-June 2021.

The APRICOT Cable project is the third international cable network system announced by the PLDT Group in the last two years, which when completed would bring PLDT’s participation in 18 international cable systems. Earlier, PLDT announced its $136.7-million investment in the Jupiter Cable project, and in the 9,400-kilometer Asia Direct Cable system, set to be completed by the end 2021 and early 2023, respectively.