Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is launching an innovative fixed line service with a touch-screen tablet device and internet connection under one service plan, in a bid to kick-start its flagging landline business. In a press release the Filipino operator said the bundled ‘PLDT TelPad’ unit would include a handset that can serve as the charging dock for a seven-inch touch-screen tablet computer. ‘Subscribers can use the handset or the portable tablet computer to make and receive phone calls and access over 100,000 online applications. This is with the unlimited broadband access of the bundled service,’ it said. The operator’s new phone uses Google’s Android O/S and has a 2GB storage facility, extendable via flash cards.
The group’s senior vice president, Eric R Alberto, said the company hopes to establish a new market segment by encouraging early adopters to the new service. ‘We’ve packed the PLDT TelPad with features that will dramatically change how we use landlines. With its growing number of [so-called] ‘netizens,’ we think they are ready for an innovative service such as the PLDT TelPad,’ he said. The launch is part of the telco’s strategy to revive the relevance of fixed line telephony and to expand ‘the value proposition of the landline in the home’.
PLDT recently completed a PHP2.8 billion (USD63.6 million) expansion of its fibre-optic network. The project, which began in January this year, entailed the deployment of 1,300km of new terrestrial and submarine fibre links between the Bicol region, to the south of Manila, and the central and southern regions of Visayas and Mindanao. As a result of the expansion, PLDT has extended coverage to ten provinces, including Iloilo and Negros Oriental, providing potential expansion areas for the nation’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. At the time, Eric Alberto was quoted as saying that following the latest initiative, the telco’s fibre-optic network now spans 10,050km connecting 68 nodes, with a total bandwidth capacity of 1.56Tbps.