Globe launches $250m SEA-US subsea cable system

Globe launches $250m SEA-US subsea cable system

Globe Telecom has commercially launched the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) submarine cable system, which provides direct links between Davao and the US.

(L-R) Andrew Gayle (GTA), Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Globe Telecom ), Abdus Somad Arif (PT Telkom), Rodolfo Salalima (Department of Information and Communications Technology), Ernest Cu (Globe Telecom ), Russ Matulich (RTI Corporation)

The 14,500km system uses the latest 100Gbps transmission technology to deliver an additional 20Tbps capacity. This additional capacity will cater to the exponential growth of bandwidth between the two continents.

The technology is from NEC, which built the cable for a consortium of seven members: Globe Telecom, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, RAM Telecom International, Hawaiian Telcom, Teleguam Holdings GTI Corp. and Telkom USA.

Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom

“First world connection is more than just fast internet but is also about building a better nation that transcends borders and opens infinite possibilities for everyone. We are excited about this development because of the immense benefits that the undersea cable system will bring to the Philippines,” said Ernest L. Cu, president and CEO of Globe.

“For one, it will provide support for the expanding business requirement for data in the Mindanao region where the cable landing station is located and in the country as a whole. This will also ease our dependence on international cable systems and ensure the resiliency of the country’s internet connectivity.”

The SEA-US cable system is connected to Globe’s cable landing station in Barangay Talomo, Davao City, which also houses the power feed equipment necessary to run the system. Outside of Luzon, the undersea cable is the first direct connection of Globe to the United States via Guam, Hawaii, and California, offering faster transmission of data to the US. The system won a US licence and started the main phase of construction in January 2017 and landed in Davao City in March.

The facility also completely bypasses the Taiwan earthquake zone to ensure continuity of service and greater resiliency. This is expected to prevent a repeat of a 2006 incident where major international cables were broken because of the Taiwan earthquake, resulting in the isolation of the Philippines for a few days in terms of internet connectivity.

“On behalf of the Philippine Government, we congratulate Globe Telecom for further improving the state of internet connectivity in the Philippines. The launching of this SEA-US cable system underscores the importance of integrating ICT in the improvement of government service delivery. We look to this Globe and SEA-US project being of help to government in realising its ICT roadmap,” said Rodolfo Salalima, Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Enterprise Group, added: “The facility will be most beneficial to businesses which require higher bandwidth and network resiliency at cost-efficient rates.”

Aside from forming part of the SEA-US consortium, Globe is also a member of an international consortium operating the 8,900km Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) system linking seven territories that include Brunei, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the Philippines, including the option to link with Thailand. The cable infrastructure is currently being upgraded to bring an increase of 6.5Tbps capacity with state of the art 100G technology.

Globe Telecom has been in the news this week as it is planning to raise its capital expenditures (capex) from $750 million to $800 million in 2017 to invest more in data expansion projects.

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