PLDT boosts fiber optic link in typhoon-prone provinces
PLDT said it has fired up its fiber optic link to Catanduanes island, and is also laying down underground fiber optic cables in the Bicol region and in Samar province to make their digital infrastructure backbone more resilient.
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PLDT boosts fiber optic link in typhoon-prone provinces

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. is laying down underground fiber optic cables in typhoon-prone regions in the country to ensure the resiliency of service during calamities.

PLDT said it has fired up its fiber optic link to Catanduanes island, and is also laying down underground fiber optic cables in the Bicol region and in Samar province to make their digital infrastructure backbone more resilient.

“We fired up our submarine fiber optic cable which was recently installed in Catanduanes. As you know, Catanduanes was hardly hit by the typhoons and most of our network facilities are down. Our ongoing rollout of submarine fiber optic cable was very timely as it was completed during this time and we were able to fire up its capacity to restore more areas in Catanduanes,” PLDT vice president and head of technology strategy and transformation office Arvin Siena said.

“In other island provinces we want to make sure fiber optic infrastructure is put in place. We want to make it more resilient so when opportunities such as cloud infrastructure, data centers and BPOs come in, this will stand the calamities frequently visiting us,” he said.

PLDT has invested over P260 billion in its digitalization and transformation journey in the past five years, which saw the expansion of its fiber optic network footprint to over 395,000 kilometers by the third quarter.

The firm’s 4G/3G coverage now reaches 95 percent of the population and its fixed network has presence in 46 percent of cities and municipalities with fiber optic and copper as of the first half.

Siena said PLDT aims to migrate 100 percent of its subscribers from legacy ADSL copper to fiber and fiber-like services in 2021 to ensure the high speed in all fixed line.

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc., on the other hand, is trying to further improve the speeds in more areas in Metro Manila and key cities to an average of 30 Mbps.

“We are continuously improving and expanding the network because the customers’ requirements keep changing over time, the demands are growing, the customers’ behaviors are changing and it is important for the capacity to be there ahead of the demand,” Siena said.

Smart has also announced the completion of its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) rollout to cover Smart Prepaid and Smart Signature subscribers nationwide, enabling more users to experience superior quality calls with uninterrupted mobile data use.

Smart said users only need to have a VoLTE-capable smartphone with a Smart LTE SIM to enjoy the service with another VoLTE user on the other end of the line.

“VoLTE and VoWiFi are for clearer calls – it is that simple. Our VoLTE rollout is very much in line with our commitment to simplify the lives of our customers by making cutting-edge mobile technology more accessible. This service is made possible by Smart’s superior mobile data network, which we continuously reinforce to stay ahead of our customers’ needs,” Smart SVP and head of consumer wireless business Jane Basas said.

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