Telstra announced the expansion of its business and service in the Philippines with the launch of a new Point of Presence (PoP) in Pasig City, and the establishment of a new joint venture with Converge Information Communications and Technology Solutions Inc. (Converge), Telstra Converge Inc.(TCI).
The joint venture is formerly known as Digitel Crossing, Inc.(Digitel Crossing).
Digitel Crossing was established in 2001, 40:40:20 joint venture among Digital Telecommunications Phils, Inc. (Digitel), Asia Global Crossing (AGC) and Broadband Infrastructure Group (BI Group). At that time, AGC was the owner to build a pan-Asia subsea cable system, the East Asia Crossing (EAC), a 19,800 km subsea cable with multiple-ring configuration linking Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore. Digitel Crossing was formed as a partnership between AGC and Digitel to be the landing party in the Philippines to land and operate the East Asia Crossing (EAC) submarine cable at the Cavite Cable Landing Station, and operate a terrestrial fiber optic backhaul network in the Philippines leveraging existing Digitel network assets. The EAC system is now a part of the EAC-C2C network, aquired by Telstra in 2015. Since then, Telstra has been an indirect shareholder of Digitel Crossing.
In June 2021, Converge acquired the majority shares (52%) of Digitel Crossing from Digitel (as a subsidiary of PLDT). Digitel divested its stakes in Digitel Crossing.
Telstra and Converge has reaffirmed their partnership, rebranding Digitel Crossing as Telstra Converge Inc.(TCI).
The joint venture has allowed Telstra to build new terrestrial fibre routes between its East Asia Crossing (EAC) and City-to-City (C2C) submarine cable landing stations in the Philippines, as well as into Makati City in the Metro Manila region, the country’s financial, commercial, and economic hub. This expansion enables Telstra to provide quality end-to-end solutions for its customers.
As the largest foreign submarine cable owner in the Philippines, Telstra also has access to two submarine cable landing stations in the country, the Cavite Cable Landing Station and the Nasugbu Cable Landing Station. They form part of the EAC-C2C network, which is the largest privately-owned submarine cable network, with a design capacity of 17.92 Tbps to 30.72 Tbps and a total cable length of 36,800 kilometres.
To ensure internet services are more accessible and stable for customers in the Philippines, Telstra has deployed a third PoP in Pasig City, a first-class commercial and residential city in the Metro Manila region, linking to the two existing, primary PoPs in Makati City. The new PoP enables Ethernet Private Line (EPL) services of 10G and 100G.
Converge is increasing its presence in the international cables amid an aggressive expansion of its domestic network and coverage. Converge aims to cover 55% of Filipino households by 2025.
In addition to acquire the majority shares of Digitel Crossing and partnering with Telstra, Converge operates a Domestic Submarine Cable Network (CDSCN), acquires one fiber pair on the Bifrost Cable System connecting to Singapore and the United States, and invests in a cable landing station in Davao for the landing of Bifrost cable. Converge participates in the SEA-H2X consortium to invest and operate a new high-capacity intra-Asia subsea cable connecting Hong Kong, Hainan Free Trade Zone, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. And Converge is building a new cable landing station in La Union for the SEA-H2X system.
The Philippines has open up its telecom sector to allow 100% foreign ownership. The Philippines is becoming a rising regional hub for international submarine cable networks and hyperscale data centers.