PLDT continues bid to be APAC’s new favorite hyperscaler hub

PLDT hyperscaler data center
Map of the ADC cable system, for which PLDT is building a new landing station in Baler, Aurora. Image credit: NEC

PLDT is set to start construction on a new cable landing station for the Asia Direct Cable (ADC) subsea cable system before the end of the year in a bid to serve the hyperscaler industry and meet rising demand for digital platforms.

The cable landing station – PLDT’s fourth – will be located in Baler, Aurora to “supplement PLDT’s international gateway in the northern and eastern borders.”

The 9,800-km Asia Direct Cable (ADC) system will link China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. NEC was contracted to build the cable in 2020. ADC is scheduled to be ready for service in 2023, according to Telegeography. In addition to PLDT, investors include China Telecom, China Unicom, National Telecom, Singtel, Softbank, Tata Communications and Viettel.

APAC’s next big hyperscaler destination

PLDT is positioning the Philippines as the next hyperscaler hub in Asia-Pacific. The country’s strategic location and existing infrastructure give it a strong advantage in attracting hyperscaler players looking to set up shop in the region.

PLDT is also investing in plenty of international capacity to serve their needs. In addition to ADC, in July PLDT activated its branch of the Jupiter Cable System, which connects the Philippines direct to the US west coast. The 14,600-km subsea cable consists of five fiber pairs with a design capacity of more than 60 Tbps.

Last year, the telco also invested in the 12,000-km Apricot undersea cable project connecting Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Notably, both the Jupiter and Apricot systems are backed by hyperscalers. Jupiter is backed by Amazon and Facebook (as well as NTT, PCCW Global and SoftBank), while Apricot backers include Facebook, Google (as well as NTT and Chunghwa Telecom).

Earlier this year, PLDT broke ground to build Vitro Sta. Rosa, its 11th hyperscale data center and claimed to be the country’s largest to date. PLDT expects Vitro Sta. Rosa to be operational by the end of next year.

PLDT seeks next growth engine

PLDT vice president and technology advisor for enterprise Victor Aliwalas said that hyperscalers will be the next growth engine for the Philippines, and that PLDT is keen on not only hyperscalers, but also cloud services and startup ecosystems.

“After the successful launch and activation of Jupiter, PLDT hopes to lead the country to become the best trans-Pacific cable hub in Asia, as we work on delivering additional subsea cables and new cable landing stations in 2024,” Aliwalas added.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), for its part, announced that they are working with 11 companies – five of which are from the United States – that are interested in establishing data center operations in the country. The companies are looking to undertake projects with an estimated value of P147 billion (around $2.6 billion).

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