Filipino telecoms operator Prime Communications, formerly Pacific Internet (PacNet), plans to roll out a WiMAX network in the Philippines to compete head-to-head with the country’s incumbent operators in the nascent wireless broadband services market. The local Inquirer newspaper quotes Prime’s president and managing director Joji Yap as saying that the deployment will take place by the end of this year. The WiMAX rollout will initially cover Metro Manila before being extended to other key cities nationwide, Yap said. The company changed its name from PacNet to distance itself from its former guise as a pure ISP in the country, and is now focusing more on developing its own infrastructure. Prime Communications is majority owned by Primeworld Digital Systems Inc. (PDSI). Singapore-based Pacific Internet Limited still owns a stake in the Filipino company. PDSI was awarded a telecoms franchise in 2001 but opted to start the venture by foregrounding its ISP business. Yap said company began its evolution into a full-fledged telecom player about two years ago.