MANILA - PLDT Inc on Monday said it would invest $80 million (P3.9 billion) in a new international undersea cable system to expand its bandwidth capacity.
PLDT will participate in the construction of the newest 12,000-kilometer-long cable system APRICOT which is expected to be fully operational by 2024, the telco said in a statement.
“The construction of this APRICOT cable system is vital to the Philippine economy with rapidly increasing data traffic and is aligned with our efforts to make the Philippines a strategic data center hub in the region,” said PLDT and Smart Communications President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio.
The new cable system will have a design capacity of over 190Tbps connecting the Philippines to Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Guam, the telco said.
APRICOT is equipped with 400G transmission technology and multiply pairs of high-capacity optical fibers, among others, PLDT said.
The investment will entice global firms to set up shop in the country for their cloud expansion, ePLDT President and CEO and SVP and Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy I. Hernandez.
PLDT said it has been expanding its fiber network in and out of the country. It set an additional capital expenditure of P88 billion to P92 billion in 2021.
The telco said it has an "extensive fiber footprint" of 524,000 kilometers as of the end of June.
According to Ookla's 2021 Speedtest Global Index, the Philippines ranked 62nd from 65th in the fixed broadband category with an average speed of 66.55 Mbps in June.