Filipino telecoms giant PLDT Inc. has revealed it is looking to ramp up investments in fifth-generation mobile services next year, including gearing up its fibre-optic network rollout which reached 395,000km nationwide at 30 September 2020. PLDT notes that its fibre infrastructure supports a wide range of services such as fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and 4G LTE and 5G from mobile arm Smart Communications. ‘As we complete the build-out of our 4G network so that our coverage will be as close as possible to 100%, we are building out our 5G network as well,’ chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan was quoted as saying, adding: ‘5G will bring speed and capacity, not only to the individual users on the wireless platform, but also to the home. To date, Smart LTE covers 95% of the population’ but that ‘in about a year or two’, the telco’s ability to deliver fixed-wireless services to the home ‘will increase significantly’, he said.
The initiatives form a large part of PLDT-Smart’s sustained investments in its network, which reached approximately PHP260 billion (USD5.4 billion) between 2015 and 2019.