Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has announced that the 20,000km Asia America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable network will become operational in August 2009, local newspaper BusinessMirror reports. PLDT, a member of the AAG Consortium which was created in April 2007, says the installation of the Philippine terminal station, as well as those in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Guam, Hawaii and US mainland has been completed.
AAG was originally expected to carry commercial traffic by Q4 2008 but there was a delay in the Hong Kong deep burial phase due to severe weather conditions work, PLDT said, is now being undertaken to complete the 61km shore end in Segment 1 or the HK-Branching unit 4. The remaining submarine cable installation work is expected to be completed by 30 June, following which network testing can begin in earnest. The total cost of the project is USD550 million, of which PLDT contributed USD50 million.
PLDT’s other partners in the consortium are, AT&T Corp. (USA), Bayan Telecommunications Inc (Philippines), Bharti AirTel (India), Government of Brunei Darussalam (Brunei), British Telecom Global Network Services (UK), CAT Telecom (Thailand), Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Philippines), 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).