It was not only a milestone for Globe Telecom when the telecommunications arm of Ayala Corp. launched on August 11 the $250 million Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) submarine-cable system which provides direct links between Davao and the US for richer and enhanced Internet connectivity for businesses in Mindanao and the rest of the country.
Ernest L. Cu, president and CEO of Globe, said the latest initiative of the company presents a lot of potentials for the country, especially in the digital economy. “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,” he said in his speech.
“We are excited about this development because of the immense benefits the undersea-cable system will bring to the Philippines. 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,” he added.
Cu said the cable system gives Globe more muscle in terms of bigger capacity. Any cable today is faster and with a larger capacity compared to the old ones. Cu recalled the last time they deployed cable was five years ago using the TGINA. “This is a whole generation of cable in terms of speed and capacity,” he said.
In effect, it allows us more bandwidth to the US, according to Cu. So far, he said the company is future-proof for as long as five years. But later, Cu added Globe will have to adapt to the additional needs of the consumers.
With the enhanced capacity, Cu said Globe will also be promoting inclusive growth by allowing small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to have a bigger bandwidth capacity. By having greater Internet access, Cu added SMEs can now pursue more and bigger business opportunities in local and overseas markets. “When you lay fiber or you fortify long-term evolution [LTE], the use case for that is for the home and for businesses,” Cu said.
“The use case between SMEs and consumer are very similar. The bandwidth requirements are still the same,” he added.
The SEA-US cable system is connected to the Globe 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 US via Guam, Hawaii and California, offering faster transmission of data to the US.
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.
Peter Maquera, senior vice president for Globe Enterprise Group, also commented that, “The facility will be most beneficial to businesses which require higher bandwidth and network resiliency at cost-efficient rates.” He added, “With the commercial operations, our customers can expect a more resilient network necessary for the continuity of their operations, as well as greater route flexibility and better future support for bandwidth-dependent applications and services consistent with the growing trend of companies shifting their business critical operations to digital.”
The 14,500-kilometer SEA-US international cable system uses the latest 100-gigabits-per-second transmission technology to deliver an additional 20-terabits-per-second (Tb/s) capacity. Such additional capacity will cater to the exponential growth of bandwidth between the two continents.
The system was built by a consortium of seven international telecommunications companies, and links five areas and territories that include Manado (Indonesia), Davao (Philippines), Piti (Guam), Oahu (Hawaii, US) and Los Angeles (California, US).
Aside from forming part of the SEA-US consortium, Globe is also a member of an international consortium of telecommunications and technology companies operating the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable (SJC) system. SJC is an 8,900-km cable 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 6.5-Tb/s capacity with state-of-the-art 100-G technology.
Globe Telecom has also made investments in the East Asia Cable system, Asia Pacific Cable Network-2, Tata Global Network–Intra Asia cable system, the City to City cable system, and is interconnected with major Trans-Pacific Cable systems that encompass Unity, Tata Global Network-Pacific and the Japan-US Cable Network.