Filipino telecoms heavyweights Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co (PLDT) and Globe Telecom have kicked off discussions on an IP peering agreement that they hope will serve to improve internet access in the Philippines. Local press reports say that the number one player by subscribers, PLDT, reached out to the market’s second largest operator Globe on 14 August 2015 over the possibility of setting up a bilateral IP peering deal. InterAksyon reports that PLDT has now put forward a draft peering agreement ‘based on internationally accepted peering practices’, with the firm’s executive vice president Ernest Alberto noting that the discussions with Globe form the basis of ‘a broader effort of PLDT to improve internet services in the country’. Further, Mr Alberto says that the operator is currently pursuing ‘several parallel initiatives that taken together will help deliver an improved internet experience for Filipinos’. Last month, PLDT signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology to be an entry point to the Philippine Open Internet Exchange (PHOpenIX). ‘Internet infrastructure has many “moving parts”. We have to undertake various simultaneous initiatives to make changes that will really benefit our customers and the public,’ Alberto is quoted as saying.
In unrelated news, Globe Telecom says it has raised USD152 million in debt to help drive its network expansion programme in the country. It is understood that the Ayala-led carrier has inked a ten-year USD107 million deal, plus a separate seven-year USD45 million term loan with local commercial bank Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co (Metrobank). The funding will be used to invest in its broadband network, as well as for improving capacities for wireless data, LTE and domestic and international transmission facilities. Globe invested about PHP11.4 billion (USD245.4 million) in CAPEX in H1 2015 and closed out June with consolidated service revenues of PHP53.8 billion, up 13% from PHP47.7 billion in H1 2014.