MANILA, Philippines – Dominant carrier Philippine long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has completed a P2.5-billion expansion project involving the installation of over 5,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables to support the aggressive roll-out of high-speed data services on its fixed and mobile networks.
PLDT president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno said the PLDT Group’s fiber optic network is now over 71,000 kilometers including 7,200 kilometers of submarine-international fiber, over 4,000 kilometers of submarine-domestic fiber, and 4,000 kilometers of wireless access network.
The PLDT managed to expand its domestic fiber optic network (DFON) to over 60,000 kilometers as of end-June this year from 54,000 kilometers as of end-2012.
“If we include our international fiber optic links and leased facilities, the PLDT Group now has more than 71,000 kilometers of fiber assets. This fortifies our already formidable network advantage as we cover more areas, increase data speeds and provide enhanced redundancies for improved resiliency,” Nazareno stressed.
The project that was completed ahead of schedule is accelerating the deployment of PLDT’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service and the fourth-generation mobile data service called Long Term Evolution (LTE) of its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc.
“We have built early and we continue to expand as the demand for broadband heavy applications continues to surge. This is what we call future-proofing our network. We want to make sure that the capacity, speed, and reliability are there when our customers need them,” he added.
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For his part, PLDT technology group head Rolando Peña said that PLDT’s FTTH service has already reached two million homes as of end-June 2013 with the expansion program.
“Even as we hit our programmed expansion for the year in just six months, we continue to lay down fiber optic cables nationwide to accelerate our FTTH rollout and hit 2.2 million homes passed by the end of the year,” Pena said.
For the ultra-fast Fibr service alone, PLDT has already covered more than 600 high-end residential subdivisions across the country.
PLDT Fibr provides subscribers with connection speed of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) that allows seamless streaming of high-definition movies.
Peña noted that PLDT mobile subsidiary, Smart Communications, has also equipped over 500 base stations in Metro Manila with its high-speed LTE service that allows mobile speeds of up to 42 Mbps which is supported by the fiber network.
The PLDT Group has allocated P29 billion for its capital expenditures this year of which P4.8 billion has already been disbursed in the first half of the year.
Earnings of PLDT note by two percent to P19.7 billion in the first half of the year from P19.3 billion in the same period last year while revenues went up by two percent to P75.7 billion from P74.2 billion.
The company’s core net income grew five percent to P19.4 billion from P18.4 billion due to higher EBITDA and lower depreciation. PLDT is sticking to its core net income target of P38.3 billion this year from P37.3 billion last year.