PLDT and its digital services subsidiary Smart telecommunication company have secured some 661 permits from different LGUs in the country, including Palawan, to build new towers for better connectivity and improved coverage.
Alfredo Panlilio, Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer, said in a statement sent to Palawan News on Friday that the ramped-up nationwide tower rollout is part of PLDT-Smart’s sustained capital expenditures on their networks, investing P260 billion from 2015 to 2019.
For 2020, amid the regained momentum of the company’s network rollout efforts following the easing of lockdown restrictions, PLDT has bumped up its Capex target to P70 billion.
“This invaluable help from the national government will now make it easier for us to build more towers and pick up the pace of our countrywide expansion program. We are grateful to the LGUs who are supportive of this initiative – we take it as a nod of confidence and will reciprocate it with the best customer experience,” he said.
Panlilio said that Smart typically builds around 1,000 to 1,500 towers annually and emphasized that while building more towers is key to improving coverage.
He said that eight out of 661 came from the towns of Bataraza, Busuanga Puerto Princesa, Culion, Linapacan, Narra, Sofronio Española and Taytay.
In addition, he said that building more towers will also be crucial to the company’s 5G rollout, as the technology would require additional facilities.
“Towers are just one element in the mobile network infrastructure of PLDT-Smart, and we have both fixed and mobile infrastructures. We have about 10,000 macro and micro cell sites and more than 20,000 LTE base stations strategically situated across the country. Complementing the towers is an extensive fiber optic network which we currently have of at least 360,000 kilometers,” Panlilio said.
He also said that expansion of the fiber optic network is also underway and currently securing permits for additional infrastructure.
“We continuously expand our fiber optic network and will be applying for the permits to build more, hopeful that we would be given the same privilege by the LGUs. We also have data centers and partners for international capacity. That’s the kind of large-scale network that is needed to be built to be able to provide competitive service,” he said.