Thursday, 18 June 2009

$550-M Asia America Gateway starts soon

Manila Bulletin

[Asia America] Gateway (AAG) submarine cable network, supposed to have started carrying commercial traffic since the last quarter of 2008, will finally begin operating in August this year, announced the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), one of the project proponents.

The AAG network spans 20,000 kilometers, linking up Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and the US West Coast. However, bad weather buffeted the laying of AAG’s deep cables in Hong Kong, delaying the project for about 9 months now.

Despite such challenges, the AAG consortium sees to it that the entire system will be properly installed and that the quality of engineering and installation work will not be compromised, PLDT stressed.

To date, the Philippine Terminal Station, as well as the other terminal stations comprising the AAG cable project, has been built. The other terminal stations are located in Malaysia, Singapore , Thailand , Brunei,Vietnam, Hong Kong, Guam, Hawaii and the US Mainland.

AAG can transform the Philippines [into] a regional and trans-Pacific connectivity hub and allow the country to meeting the exploding demand for international bandwidth to support broadband applications for video and multimedia services. The system was designed to be capable of carrying at least 1.92 terrabit per second.

For its part, the AAG consortium, formed two years ago, is composed of 3 domestic telcos, such as PLDT, which contributed US$50 million to the project, Bayan Telecommunications Inc. and Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc., plus 14 foreign telcos and the Government of Brunei Darussalam (Brunei).

Among the foreign telco members are: AT&T Corp. (USA), Bharti AirTel (India), , British Telecom Global Network Services (UK), CAT Telecom (Thailand), FPT Telecom (Vietnam), PT Indosat (Indonesia), PT Telkom (Indonesia), Saigon Postel Corporation (Vietnam), StarHub (Singapore), Telekom Malaysia (Malaysia), Telcotech Limited (Cambodia), Telstra (Australia), Telecom New Zealand International (New Zealand), Viettel (Vietnam) and Vietnam Post & Telecommunications Group of Vietnam (Vietnam).

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