PLDT lowers allocation for digital services
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s largest telecommunications firm is allocating around $50 million for partnerships for its digital services portfolio this year with the budget for 2015 yet to be fully utilized.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters the firm’s investment arm PLDT Capital is setting this year’s budget at an amount less than the $50 million earmarked for last year.

“I think it will be less than that ($50 million),” he said.

PLDT Capital was established last year to grow the group’s digital services and to serve as the link to leading companies in Silicon Valley.

The investment firm’s $50 million budget last year was intended to be used for investments to support business units including Smart Communications Inc., ePLDT, Digital5 and Voyager Innovations Inc. to be able to provide digital services in Southeast Asia and in other developing economies.

Of the total budget last year, PLDT Capital spent $10 million for a joint venture with US-based firm Phunware for the exclusive distribution of mobile applications across multiple screens in the region.

It likewise spent $5 million for a partnership with Israel-based AppCard which is engaged in the development, marketing and sale of digital loyalty program platforms, and invested $1 million for a tie-up with US fan app developer Hopscotch to market mobile solutions.

The investment arm plays a significant role in PLDT’s digital pivot amid increasing competition in the telecommunications industry.

Pangilinan said competition has become tougher in the telecommunications industry given the rapid changes in technology.

As such, PLDT is interested in forging more partnerships this year to cater to the digital needs of subscribers.

PLDT has set a core net income guidance of P35 billion for 2015.

As of end-September, PLDT’s core profit amounted to P27.1 billion, five percent lower than in the same period a year ago.

The company’s net income meanwhile, declined by nine percent year-on-year to P25.3 billion as of end-September.

 

ACIRC MANUEL V MILLION PANGILINAN PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO PLDT SILICON VALLEY SMART COMMUNICATIONS INC SOUTHEAST ASIA VOYAGER INNOVATIONS INC YEAR
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