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Philippines partners with China for sub-marine broadband

The establishment of a submarine broadband infrastructure for the Philippines is now possible with the partnership with a Chinese telecommunications company, according to a recent report.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has jointly signed a letter of intent with the state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom) that will guarantee faster internet connectivity in the country.

This partnership will utilise the Department’s existing cable landing station together with the telecom’s submarine cable.

The Department and the telecom will assess the feasibility of coming up with a cooperative effort. The country specifically needs cable landing stations that are independent of the two existing telecom giants.

For more than 10 years, the country’s gateway facilities are controlled by the two.

Under the initiative, the telecom’s international submarine telecommunications cable will directly connect the Philippines with Hong Kong and the United States.

The facility will use fibre optics technology to carry signal and digital data including telephone and internet traffic by way of a submarine cable stretching across the oceans and seas.

Moreover, this cable landing station will be used by the government for its National Broadband Plan and for its Free Wi-Fi project.

Determining the financing component will also be looked into as part of the feasibility study. But it is important to note that it should be “at no cost to the Philippine government.”

Both are hopeful that the proposed submarine broadband infrastructure will be the solution to ease up traffic and speed up internet connectivity.

Thus, this will make it more accessible, reliable and affordable for more Filipinos.

This is the initial step in providing the foundation for faster and cheaper internet services for Filipinos.

With this partnership, an international gateway facility is being set up, which is crucial for world-class telecommunication services.

Meanwhile, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has declared Mislatel as the new major telco player in the country.

It is a joint venture of Udenna Corporation and China Telecom, which is committed to provide internet speeds of 55 Mbps covering 84% of the population with capital expenditures of around US$  4.8 billion (PHP 250 billion) over a five-year period.

The Department, through its attached agency, the NTC, has allotted radio frequency bands of 700 megahertz (MHz), 2100 MHz, 2000 MHz, 2.5 gigahertz (GHz), 3.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz for the new major telco player.

The Department expects to take back more frequencies soon as it currently contemplates the acquisition of unused and underused frequencies owned by small telco players.

A study is being made on increasing the spectrum user fee to push telco operators that do not maximise their frequency bands to turn it over to the government.

In an earlier report, it was highlighted that the National Broadband Plan of the Philippines has three strategies around policy, investment and stimulation demand.


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