PLDT Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel V Pangilinan has told reporters that the telecoms giant plans to increase its capital expenditure budget for 2020 as it continues to expand its network infrastructure and readies for the launch of 5G mobile services ‘early next year’.
In a press conference held at the weekend, Pangilinan was asked whether the company planned to spend more than the record PHP78.4 billion (USD1.54 billion) figure committed in FY 2019, to which he replied that it did, but declined to provide an exact sum saying it had yet to be approved by the PLDT board – which meets on Tuesday 3 December. With the official having recently attended a signing ceremony between PLDT-Smart Communications and Araneta Group for the deployment of fibre-powered, Wi-Fi and 5G technology in the Araneta City (covering the Gateway Mall, Smart Araneta Coliseum, New Frontier Theater, and Araneta Center bus terminal in Quezon City), Pangilinan confirmed that in 2020 both fixed and wireless networks will be foregrounded for upgrades/improvements. ‘There’s a big push for both … More investments in 4G and 5G [networks]. There will be more [base] stations to be built in the wireless side. For the fixed, mainly the investments will be in the transport [network] of PLDT, the backbone, and completion of the [fiberisation of] cell sites… So it’s really a big investment. Again, we are really, really making the infrastructure world-class,’ he is cited as saying. Further, the PLDT official noted that a significant sum will be used to fund PLDT’s rollout of 5G technology, the commercial launch of which is expected ‘early next year’, although he conceded the product ‘may not be immediately’ profitable.