Google and Facebook have joined forces to set up Apricot, which will serve over 3.5 billion users.
PLDT touted as having the Philippines’ fastest and most reliable internet connection, is investing US$80 million into Apricot, a new undersea cable system that will expand global network infrastructure and meet the growing demand for 4G, 5G, and broadband access in Asia-Pacific.
Apricot, set to launch in 2024, will bring greater connectivity in a region with rapidly increasing consumer internet traffic. Statista forecasts that from only 27 exabytes per month in 2017, consumer internet traffic in Asia will spike to 130 exabytes per month. In Southeast Asia alone, the internet economy will cross $300 billion by 2025.
Featuring state of the art configuration that allows flexibility in trunk and branch capacity, Apricot is expected to deliver the region’s much-needed capacity, redundancy, and reliability.
Facebook’s Nico Roehrich, manager for network investments, says the new undersea cable system is 12,000-kilometre-long and will connect the countries of Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Specifically, it will be routed via the eastern coast of the Philippines.
In a statement to GMA News, PLDT and Smart Communications president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio said that the construction of Apricot is vital to the Philippine economy, especially amidst rapidly increasing data traffic. Panlilio added that the cable system aligns with their efforts to make the Philippines a strategic data centre hub in the region.
PLDT vice president and international facilities investments management head Gene Sanchez said that future cable landing stations in Luzon and Mindanao, the country’s biggest islands, will be built as part of Apricot. As such, their investment is part of the strategy to enhance network resilience in the country. At present, PLDT is already part of 14 international submarine cable systems and one terrestrial system.
Apricot also complements Echo, also a new cable funded by Google. Bikash Koley, VP and head of Google global networking and head of technology and strategy, Google Cloud for Telecommunications, says that Echo, along with Apricot, will provide businesses and startups in Asia with lower latency, more bandwidth, and increased resilience in their connectivity between Southeast Asia, North Asia and the United States.