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PLDT to prioritize 'ready' areas in line, wireless infra rollout.

DIGITAL services provider PLDT Inc. will prioritize 'ready areas' for the rollout of its fixed line and wireless network infrastructure for the remainder of the year, a company official said.

Mario Tamayo, the company's senior vice president for network planning and engineering, said the company will ride on the momentum of its accelerated network buildup and modernization for the rest of 2018.

So far, Smart Communications Inc., the wireless services arm of the company, has installed more than 3,900 LTE base stations, increasing the total count by 45 percent to over 12,600.

This enabled the company to provide better, faster mobile data services, including LTE-Advanced.

Smart has also increased the number of 3G base stations on its network to over 10,400.

With this rollout, Smart is on track to fulfill its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to provide high-speed wireless data services in 95 percent of the country's cities and municipalities by end-2018.

For its fixed-line network, PLDT has increased the coverage of its fiber-power fixed broadband network to 5.07 million homes, passed and boosted its capacity to 1.86 million ports, nearing its full-year target of 2.2 million ports.

Its fiber-optic transmission and distribution network has been extended by 29,000 kilometers to 204,000 kilometers at end-June.

'We are prioritizing the rollout in areas where there are ready customers. Also, our deployment of network facilities-particularly fiber-more efficiently boost the expansion efforts of both our fixed and mobile network,' Tamayo said.

He said the increased capacity for both fixed and wireless networks has helped drive growth into the company's top and bottom lines.

Data and digital services continued to be the main growth drivers for all three business segments Home, Individual Wireless and Enterprise, accounting for P39.6 billion in revenues, or 54 percent of first-half 2018 total service revenues.

'We have crossed an important threshold now that our data and digital services generate more than half of our total service revenues,' PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Eric R. Alberto said.

And given the revenues injected by the said business segments into the company, the group will continue to grow the said verticals through continued network buildup and content creation and delivery.

'Moving forward, our task is to accelerate our digital pivot by pursuing whenever possible converged digital initiatives across our business segments-Home, Individual Wireless, and Enterprise,' Alberto said.

For 2018 the company is spending P58 billion in capital outlays to expand its networks. Roughly P31.5 billion of the amount has been allocated for the wireless network and P26.5 billion for the fixed-line network.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 19, 2018
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