PLDT Inc. is counting on its fiber footprint, which it says has grown to more than one million kilometers, to help it improve customer service amidst continuing complaints about poor connectivity.
As of the end of September, the holdings company for telecommunications, internet, and digital services announced that it had expanded its fiber networks to a total of 1,091,000 kilometers.
This includes over 231,000 kilometers of international fiber and almost 860,000 kilometers of domestic fiber, thereby strengthening the Philippines’ position “as a regional hyperscale hub and boosting connectivity needs of individuals, homes, and businesses across the country.”
“Our sustained investments in our network rollout has allowed us to continuously improve customer experience nationwide,” said Eric Santiago, PLDT network head.
“Our fast and reliable network has been enabling companies’ hybrid work set-ups, online banking and payments for enterprises of all sizes, as well as the government’s initiatives to digitalize the Philippines,” he added.
Approximately 16.8 million homes in 67% of the nation’s cities and municipalities have been reached by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure.
PLDT said it supports Smart Communications, Inc. 77,200 base stations, including 7,300 5G base stations and nearly 40,000 4G/LTE base stations spread across the country. Smart covers 97% of the population with 3G, LTE, and 5G networks.
Additionally, PLDT added 1.29 million more fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) units in the first nine months of the year, bringing the total FTTH capacity to 5.9 million.
PLDT also recently announced the start of the initial phase of cable construction of the 9,400-kilometer subsea cable Asia Direct Cable (ADC) in Batangas. The completion of all landing links is expected to take place by the end of the year 2023.
When it’s done, ADC will connect the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and China to seven international cable landing points. Once everything is set up, this will give PLDT an extra international network capacity of at least 36 Tbps, which will make it faster to send large amounts of data across East and Southeast Asia.
The upcoming activation of ADC and Apricot cables systems will increase to 19 the number of international submarine cable systems of PLDT, which includes the recently energized Jupiter Cable System. Once fully equipped, PLDT’s current international network capacity of 60 Tbps will expand to over 130 Tbps, remaining unparalleled in the Philippines.
PLDT has invested Php518.5 billion in total capex over the last ten years, until 2021. Capex for 2022 includes, among others, investment in capacity to support PLDT’s home broadband business and the rise in network traffic.