PLDT to continue capex expansion
PLDT chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said at the PLDT Enterprise’s Philippine Digital Convention yesterday that there would be continued capex expansion in 2021 and 2022 for the telco giant, “at least for the foreseeable future.”
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PLDT to continue capex expansion
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunications and digital services provider PLDT Inc. is poised to continue ramping up its capital spending to new heights in the “foreseeable future” as it continues to expand its network and roll out 5G.

PLDT chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said at the PLDT Enterprise’s Philippine Digital Convention yesterday that there would be continued capex expansion in 2021 and 2022 for the telco giant, “at least for the foreseeable future.”

PLDT was supposed to allocate an all-time-high capital expenditures budget of P83 billion this year, eclipsing last year’s record-high capex of P72.9 billion.

The telco, however, was earlier forced to downsize this year’s capex to about P63 billion as a result of the slowdown in network rollout due to the quarantine measures imposed in the second quarter.

But with the network rollout regaining momentum following the easing of lockdown restrictions, PLDT has leveled up its target capex back up to about P70 billion or more.

“Business is actually good. The wireless revenues are up and even the home revenues are up. There’s been significant take up of our fiber to the home, even the fixed wireless. With the introduction of 5G, we’re now slowly introducing that in the key areas of the country,” Pangilinan said.

He said PLDT is looking at further expansion and modernization of its transport network since business has expanded both on the fixed and wireless side.

For this modernization, the company is again looking to tap global technology leader Cisco.

“As you know, what has happened to one particular vendor from China, we probably need to realign the phase one transport modernization. We probably have to turn to Cisco for portions of that realignment and our network people will be reaching out to Cisco in that respect,” Pangilinan said.

PLDT last year launched a partnership with global technology leader Cisco on its transport network transformation project.

As of end-September, PLDT’s transport network or fiber optic network spans 395,000 kilometers, the most extensive in the country.

“Despite pandemic conditions, PLDT has relentlessly continued to expand its fiber optic network. Expansion works are ongoing to extend PLDT’s footprint by another 81,000 kms, 31,000 kms more in 2020 and 50,000 in 2021,” PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo said.

PLDT’s backbone network capacity as of end-September is at 55 terabits per second. With its ongoing works, PLDT is looking to increase this capacity further by another 37 terabits per second.

The company said this capacity expansion aims to serve customers’ growing demand for data and deliver technologies like 5G, LTE, and fiber-to-the-home.

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