5 Feb 2018
ABS-CBN News reports that PLDT Inc. has laid out plans to spend PHP50 billion (USD969 million) in 2018 as it looks to accelerate a digital services drive, part of a total of PHP260 billion that has been committed over five years as the Philippines’ dominant telco readies itself to face the challenge of fresh competition from a third player. PLDT president Manuel Pangilinan is quoted as saying: ‘This is a massive effort to turn our networks into powerful, pervasive and resilient platforms for delivering relevant digital services and solutions that our people can use to improve their daily lives, as well as enable the country to compete and thrive in this digital age.’ Under the transformation, the group’s mobile arm – Smart Communications – will look to double its on-air LTE base transceiver stations (BTS) from 8,700 to about 17,700, significantly boosting internet speeds in the process. For fixed broadband, meanwhile, PLDT will look to double fibre and hybrid fibre broadband capacity to over 2.2 million ports, up from a little over one million ports at end-2017. PLDT also expects its fixed broadband footprint will increase by 30% this year, to 5.1 million homes, while another 33,000km of fibre-optic cables will be deployed to raise the total from 174,000km to 210,000km – increasing bandwidth capacity by 80% to 8.92Tbps by the end of 2019, up from 5Tbps per second in 2017.