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News : Philippines' Undersea Cable Network to Boost Call Center Industry

#contactcenterworld, @enjoyglobe

Manila, Philippines, Mar, 2024 - The Philippines' new submarine cable network is expected to bolster internet connectivity even in the country's more remote islands, allowing call center operators to expand outside major cities in a boost to the economy.

The Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) is a joint project that includes InfiniVAN, which is majority owned by Tokyo-listed telecom company IPS, as well as Philippine providers Globe Telecom and Eastern Telecommunications. It was completed at the end of last year, with related facilities slated for completion by April.

The 2,500-kilometer network "is truly a game changer in the Philippines' quest to be amongst equals in terms of internet interconnectivity and digital transformation," Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said at a launch ceremony in February.

InfiniVAN, Globe and Eastern Telecommunications have invested into the network, which extends from the island of Luzon in the north to Mindanao in the south. Links between different segments were reinforced so they could withstand rapid currents in the waters.

Major cities like Manila and Cebu already have relatively stable internet access. But the Philippines consists of over 7,100 islands, and more remote areas often lack stable connections. The new cable network could help create jobs and spur development nationwide.

Officials hope the network will allow the business process outsourcing sector to expand beyond big cities. Companies from around the world operate call centers in the Philippines, taking advantage of the large English-speaking population and lower labor costs.

The Philippines' BPO sector earned $35.4 billion in total revenue and employed 1.7 million in 2023, according to an industry group. Many players are based in Manila, Cebu and other major cities, since employees need reliable access to online customer data.

Rising wages have led some to consider relocating, though inadequate telecom infrastructure has held them back. Regional governments have welcomed the PDSCN for its job-creating potential.

"We will also be able to provide faster internet [and] more efficient digital services to Filipinos located in both urban and rural areas of the country," Marcos said.

InfiniVAN Chairman Koji Miyashita said, "PDSCN will not only serve InfiniVAN, but will function as an open gateway for other companies. We envision it reducing network fees to around a tenth of what it is."

The developments come as the Philippines eases restrictions on foreign investment in a bid to bolster infrastructure. The country in 2022 removed a 40% cap on foreign ownership of companies involved in fields like telecommunications. Marcos is considering amending the constitution to court foreign investment as well.

#contactcenterworld, @enjoyglobe

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About Globe Telecom:
Company LogoGlobe Telecom, commonly known as Globe, is a major provider of telecommunications services in the Philippines.
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