Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT, PSE: TEL) has signed a construction and maintenance agreement with Japan’s NTT Communications and Singapore’s StarHub to build Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), a $430-million next-generation high-bandwidth optical fiber underwater cable system. Telekom Malaysia (TM) signed a separate agreement with NTT Communications in Kuala Lumpur.
The 7,200-kilometer ASE system will link Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore. The system will also connect to Malaysia and potentially to mainland China, as well as other Southeast Asian countries. The system is envisioned to provide seamless interconnection with other major cable systems connecting Europe, the Middle East, other parts of Asia, and the United States.
PLDT’s new cable landing station on the east coast of the Philippines will also provide enhanced network redundancy for superior telecommunications services for corporate, SME (small and medium enterprise), and retail broadband customers of PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc.
ASE is designed to provide more than 15Tb capacity of field-proven 40Gbps transmission technology and has the capability to incorporate 100Gbps optical technology in the future. This is expected to cater to the forecast exponential growth in bandwidth requirements for new and revolutionary broadband applications such as IP, video, data, and other multimedia services.
The cable route between ASE terminal stations will cover the shortest possible distances to minimize latency. ASE will install along a route that will avoid as much as possible the critical earthquake-prone area in the south of Taiwan.