Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is securing crucial internet capacity via an upcoming international submarine cable system that is being built by global technology giants.
In a stock exchange filing on Wednesday, Converge announced plans to invest over $100 million (P4.8 billion) in the project known as the Bifrost Cable System, a 15,000-kilometer undersea cable project from Singapore to the North American West Coast, including a branch to the Philippines.
Converge signed a “binding term sheet” with Singapore’s Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation, which is building the Bifrost Cable System with United States social media giant Facebook and PT Telekom Indonesia.
The entire project is expected to be finished in 2024.
Submarine cables such as the Bifrost system are the unseen backbone of the internet that links billions of users around the world. It is important for broadband companies to secure ample capacity to provide customers with faster and better quality internet at potentially lower rates.
According to Converge, the agreement with Keppel will allow the use of one fiber pair on the main trunk of the Bifrost Cable System.
Converge founder and CEO Dennis Anthony H. Uy said single full fiber pair would allow the company to activate up 15 terabits per second (Tbps) of internet capacity. This was meant to support Converge’s expansion as it targets to cover 55 percent of all households in the country by 2025.
“This is an important milestone not just for Converge but also for the Philippines as we expect to experience faster internet speeds and greater resiliency within our fast-growing fiber network with the completion of this project,” Uy said in the filing.
The parties will also build a cable branch to the Philippines connecting to Converge’s landing station in Davao.
The deal will be finalized subject to the completion of negotiations and regulatory approvals.
Converge is set to finish a separate 1,800-km domestic undersea cable system that will connect the main islands of the Philippines. This will allow Converge to distribute capacity from Bifrost to the rest of the country, Uy said.
The Bifrost Cable System will be the world’s first subsea cable system that directly connects Singapore to the West Coast of North America via Indonesia through the Java Sea and Celebes Sea.