PLDT abandons BPL project; group now boasts 65m mobile users

26 Mar 2012

After three years of testing to assess the possibility of introducing broadband services over power lines (BPL), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has decided to put the project on the backburner Malaya Business Insight reports. The telco had been working with power utility Meralco since August 2009 concerning a joint project designed to bring broadband services directly to the homes of some 4.5 million of the latter’s customers. However, PLDT considers that ‘it is not technically feasible to roll out the new technology in the country,’ according to its president Napoleon Nazareno. ‘It looks like we may have to shelve the project for the meantime. Technically, it seems that its not optimal and efficient to use broadband over power lines in the present circumstances in the way the broadband and power are being consumed,’ he added. The two companies had been trialling BPL in specific geographic locations in parts of Metro Manila (including Malabon), and in some multi-dweller blocks in Makati, including PLDT’s main building.

In a separate story concerning PLDT, the telco has confirmed that its mobile divisions have now signed up a combined 65 million subscribers, up a net 1.3 million from the 63.7 million figure reported at the end of December 2011. Of the total, some 50 million are signed up to either Smart Communications or Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises Inc (branded Red Mobile), while the remaining 15 million are subscribers to Sun Cellular, the mobile brand of Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel), which is now majority controlled by PLDT.