PLDT mulls new undersea cable in Mindanao (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – Telco giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is looking at Mindanao as the location for a new undersea cable that would link to the US amid growing demand for broadband services.

“We are in discussion for a new one hopefully, landing in Mindanao. We are still exploring,” PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno told reporters.

The company is eyeing Mindanao to create diversity, as it already has three landing stations in Luzon.

Nazareno said PLDT is still in discussions with other parties in the consortium for the capacity of the new undersea cable.

“Maybe toward the end of the year, it will be finalized,” he said.

PLDT has earlier injected $55 million to the $550-million Asia-America Gateway project in La Union involving a 20,000-kilometer undersea cable network.

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The project connects Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and the US West Coast using 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps) technology and upgradeable to 100 Gbps, with a minimum design capacity of 15 Terabits.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company is also looking at new investments in digital assets given the strong consumer demand for Internet services.

“In the digital space…you’ll see further launches between now and the first quarter of next year,” he said.

He said the upcoming investment cover a whole range of Internet initiatives, with some relating to big data, e-commerce and online payments to address the needs and wants of Filipino consumers.

Pangilinan said the company is also making investments in Payware for payments for online store creation platform TackThis! and mobile loyalty startup Appcard.