PLDT’s capital expenditure will exceed PHP 50 billion in 2018 and is expected to maintain its height for the next two years. This would bring the Group’s total capex from 2016 — the year PLDT embarked on its network and IT transformation programs — to nearly P260 billion, or approximately US$5 billion.
PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said: “What this means is that for every P1 of service revenue, we reinvest between P0.30-0.35 in the business to super-charge our networks and advance our digital transformation program. This is a massive effort to turn our networks into powerful, pervasive and resilient platforms for delivering relevant digital services and solutions that our people can use to improve their daily lives, as well as enable the country to compete and thrive in this digital age.”
For mobile, over the next 12 to 18 months, Smart will double the number of LTE base stations to about 17,700 and increase the number of LTE-equipped cell sites to over 6,800. The number of 3G base stations will rise to over 12,400, while the count of cell sites equipped with new 3G base stations will grow to over 8,000. Most of the new 4G and 3G base stations will be using frequencies acquired from San Miguel Corporation.
It will also more than double the number of In-building solution (IBS) installations to over 200 new structures. This roll-out will further increase the number of cell sites equipped with LTE on multiple frequencies, thus enabling Smart to deploy LTE-A with carrier aggregation in more areas of the country.
This effort will not only expand the reach of PLDT’s fiber network, it will also upgrade its copper-based broadband service to hybrid fiber connections. By 2019, virtually all of PLDT’s 1.2 million copper-based DSL subscribers will enjoy fiber-fast Internet. At the same time, PLDT will further expand its fixed broadband coverage by about 30% to 5.1 million homes passed, thus extending its reach to more areas of the country. It is anticipated that within the next five-year cycle of network development (2021-2025), PLDT could have as many as 10 million homes passed with FTTH.
“The net result is that within the next 12-18 months world-class internet services on PLDT’s super-charged fixed and mobile networks will be available to many more Filipinos in many more parts of the country,” Pangilinan said.