PLDT ahead of target with network expansion

21 Aug 2018

The Philippines' PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart have announced they have accelerated their fixed and wireless network expansion initiatives, and are close to reaching their full-year targets.

As of the end of June, Smart had deployed more than 3,900 LTE and LTE-Advanced base stations this year, raising its total by 45% to over 12,600.

The LTE rollout is utilizing the 700-MHz band for wider coverage and improved indoor penetration, as well as the 1800-MHz and 2100-MHz bands for additional capacity. Smart has also increased the number of 3G base stations on its network to over 10,400.

With the deployment, Smart is on track to fulfill its commitment to regulator the National Telecommunications Commission to provide high-speed wireless data services in over 90% of the Philippines' cities and municipalities by the end of the year.

Meanwhile PLDT increased coverage of its fiber network to 5.07 million homes passed and boosted its capacity to 1.86 million ports, moving close to its full-year target of 2.2 million ports.

The company rolled out over 29,000km of fiber - increasing its total footprint to 204,000km – and achieved full FTTH coverage in its first full cities, starting with Toledo City in Cebu.

“The beneficial impact of these network roll-out efforts has been enhanced by the tighter coordination between our business and network organizations, and, between the fixed and mobile engineering teams,” PLDT and Smart SVP for network planning and engineering Mario G. Tamayo said.

“As a result, we are prioritizing the roll-out 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.”

PLDT has allocated around 58 billion pesos ($1.08 billion) in capex for its network expansion and modernization efforts this year, with 31.5 billion pesos allocated for the wireless network and 26.5 billion pesos for the fixed network.

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