The $300 million Asia Link Cable (ALC), a regional project intended to improve data capacity in the face of growing digitization, might begin cable-laying operations as early as 2024, according to a consortium member.
The cables for the 6,000-kilometer subsea system are anticipated to be laid in two years to fulfill the 2025 deadline for activation, according to Rodolfo Santiago, DITO Telecommunity’s chief technology officer, who spoke to the Inquirer.
According to him, the construction of the fiber cables itself as well as the fulfillment of the necessary formalities were done first.
“I would venture to say that the preparation will start around the second quarter of next year,” said Santiago.
It was revealed in November that DITO and Globe Telecom Inc. have joined the ALC consortium. Other participants included Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), China Telecom Global Ltd., and Brunei Darussalam’s Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd.
The cable network will link Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Hong Kong SAR China, and Hainan, China, with a minimum trunk capacity of 18 terabits per second in each fiber pair. HMN Technologies Co. is handling the project. Ltd. was chosen to handle the construction.
Santiago stated that making such infrastructure investments was essential to meeting the expanding demand for data consumption.
“The explosion of the requirements for data, internet connection, requires additional international capacity,” he said.
Moreover, he mentioned that DITO was presently negotiating similar projects with other businesses. As it gets closer to reaching its 80 percent population goal, the telecom has committed to spending P27 billion in capital expenditures in 2014 rather than P50 billion this year. Currently, 74% of the population is serviced by the third telco company.
“What we are focusing on is really to increase the coverage and, at the same time, improve the customer experience,” he said.
There are 15 million subscribers to DITO at the moment. According to its parent company DITO CME Holdings Corp., net losses between January and September increased by 167 percent to P14.21 billion as a result of rising costs and currency exchange losses. Nevertheless, total revenues for the quarter increased by more than five times, to P5.04 billion, from P1.08 billion the previous year.