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PLDT, Smart finish 2020 network rollout on strong note
PLDT said its fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, reached more than 429,000 kilometers as of December last year.
STAR/ File

PLDT, Smart finish 2020 network rollout on strong note

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telco giant PLDT Inc. and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. ended 2020 strong in terms of enhancing their network capabilities to serve customers better.

PLDT said its fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, reached more than 429,000 kilometers as of December last year.

The fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile networks, which now cover 96 percent of the population, and is  available in 95 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.

Smart, for its part, increased the number of its base stations to over 59,000 at the end of 2020 and rolled out additional 5G sites nationwide.  It  has over 10,000 sites across the country, including more than 700 new cell sites fired up last year despite mobility restrictions and supply chain challenges due to COVID-19.

These enabled Smart to increase its LTE population coverage, cover more municipalities and provide more capacity for dense areas.

Smart plans to roll out an additional 2,000 cell sites in 2021.

Since July last year, Smart secured over 2,500 permits to build more cell sites to fast track its goal of improving customer experience across the country.

“The year 2020 was a fateful year for many, but it also accelerated our digital transformation,” Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer Alfredo Panlilio said.

“Building on the strengths of our technological capabilities and laser focus on customer-centricity, we stepped into 2021 with many new aspirations. Our journey continues further by capitalizing on the various improvements we made in 2020, when we pivoted toward market leadership. This year, we will accelerate our capabilities and achieve more milestones,” he said.

PLDT is alloting as much as P92 billion for capital expenditures this year.

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