PLDT to spend P70B in 2019 for network, broadband expansion

PLDT has announced that it is investing at least P70 billion as capital expenditures (capex) this year for its network expansion. The telco’s management said the capex will finance the rollout of its mobile and broadband services across the country.

Photo credit: PLDT

“The PLDT Group capex will be at least P70 billion from about P58 billion in 2019 is intended to fortify our network leadership and to underpin our drive towards revenue growth this year,” PLDT corporate secretary Ma. Lourdes Rausa-Chan said in a regulatory disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, February 4.

Around P48 billion will be spent on information technology as it focuses on improving its customers’ access on data-related services.

Among the investments of PLDT include expansion of its LTE/3G mobile coverage through deployment of more outdoor sites to improve coverage in high-rise buildings; continuing rollout of 5G cell sites; deployment of fiber-to-the home internet to address the demand for fixed home and enterprise broadband; investment in new submarine cable systems, among others.

Another P16 billion will be allocated for its upgrades on last-mile and customer-premises equipment such as modems/optical network units to improve the delivery of data services to its clients representing an increase of P10 billion year-on-year.

“A higher level of customer capex is expected as we connect and upgrade more homes,” Chan stated.

The PLDT official further stated that the customer capex will be sales-driven and could vary depending on the pace of actual connects and upgrades.

Around P2 billion will be spent for the expansion of PLDT’s data center capacity and investments in network/last-mile resiliency to serve its enterprise segment.

The firm will likewise allocate ‘one-time’ capex amounting to around P3 to P4 billion related to the hiring of installation and repair specialists/technicians which include the acquisition of vehicles, tool/equipment, space expansion and workforce management systems.

The increase in PLDT’s capex for 2019 comes amid the entry of Mislatel Consortium as new major player in the telco industry. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)