Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), through its mobile divisions Smart Communications and Digitel (Sun Cellular), is on course to achieve 100% coverage of the country by the third quarter of this year, having already completed the rollout of a 650km submarine fibre cable linking Palawan province to the rest of its national backbone. The PHP861 million (USD19.3 million) Palawan link formed part of a wider fibre-optic rollout programme, which now spans more than 78,000km. Speaking to reporters in November 2013, PLDT/Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said that the group’s 3G coverage would stand at ‘75% to 80% by first quarter’ of 2014. The 3G network provides more capacity, faster data rates and richer data and video applications than a second-generation network.
PLDT has allotted PHP32 billion for capital investments this year. The amount will be spent largely on expanding and improving the group’s network coverage including the ultra-fast 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.