MANILA, May 27, 2009 (AFP) - Eight Asian telecoms companies have formed a consortium to build an undersea cable system to link 10 regional hubs, Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PDLT) said Wednesday.
The 8,000-kilometre (4,972-mile) Asia-Pacific Gateway should be in service by 2011 and provide extra capacity for growing demand and skip the region's earthquake-prone areas that are hazardous to undersea cables, it added.
The project will link China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, said a statement from PLDT, the Filipino partner.
The cost of the project was not disclosed.
"The planning and eventual implementation of the new Asia-Pacific Gateway project is timely due to the growing bandwidth demand of PLDT and the other proponents," PLDT first vice president Alejandro Caeg said.
"It is also intended to meet the requirements for cable route diversity, protection, and to provide capacity to replace the retiring cables in the region," he added.
Japan's NTT Communications, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, Chinese carriers China Telecom and China Unicom, South Korea's KT Corp., Telekom Malaysia and Vietnam's VNPT signed the agreement, along with PDLT, in Kuala Lumpur Monday, the firm said.