Google, Facebook and PLDT announced respectively today to build the Apricot subsea cable system, connecting Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
The Apricot cable will span 12,000-kilometer, feature a state-of-the-art submersible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer employing wavelength selective switch for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration, based on space division multiplexing design.
The Apricot cable system will have a design capacity of over 190Tbps and will be equipped with 400Gbps transmission technology.
Earlier this year, Google announced the Echo subsea cable, connecting the U.S., Singapore, Guam and Indonesia. According to Google, the Echo and Apricot cables are complementary submarine systems that will offer benefits with multiple paths in and out of Asia, including unique routes through southern Asia, ensuring a significantly higher degree of resilience for Google Cloud and digital services. Google and Facebook are joint builders of the Echo cable system.
In addition to jointly build the Echo cable system with Google, Facebook is building the Bifrost cable system connecting Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Guam and the west coast of the United States, spanning over 15,000km via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea. Facebook is also building PLCN and CAP-1 cable systems connecting the Philippines and the west coast of the United States.
PLDT will invest US$80 million in the Apricot cable system. The Philippines becomes a rising hub for international subsea cables in the APAC region. APRICOT is key to enhancing network resilience because PLDT will build new cable landing stations in Luzon and Mindanao as part of this submarine cable system. Currently, PLDT has extensive participation in 14 international submarine cable systems and one terrestrial system carrying data traffic going in and out of the Philippines. These include the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), Asia-submarine Cable Express (ASE), APCN2, Jupiter, and South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 (SMW3) which are routed through PLDT’s three existing cable landing stations in Batangas, Daet, and La Union.
The Apricot cable system is expected to be ready for service in 2024.
Chunghwa Telecom is a member of the Apricot consortium.
NTT is a member of the Apricot consortium, and NTT provides three cable landing stations for Apricot cable system, i.e., Minamiboso landing station in Japan, landing station in Indonesia, and Tuas cable landing station in Singapore.