PLDT starts strong push for fiber optic broadband

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[/caption] The company said that fixed line services, which have been overshadowed by mobile services for more than a decade, are making a comeback on the back of high-speed broadband Internet powered by fiber optic technology. In a technical briefing held specifically to explain how the technology works, PLDT-Smart Technology Group Head Rolando Pe?a said fiber optics enable the fixed line network to transmit voice, data, and video over the Internet at much higher bandwidths, faster speeds, and better quality. Pe?a said PLDT is ?fibering? its network from end-to-end. ?We are bringing fiber up to the home and enterprises as well as to the cell sites for a richer broadband experience of our customers across all business segments.? ?The closer the fiber, the bigger the available bandwidth,? he pointed out. PLDT?s total fiber optic network has already reached 54,000 kilometers, the most extensive in the country and four times more than what the competition is building. Meanwhile, its Domestic Fiber Optic Network (DFON) has the largest long-haul capacity of 4.6 Tbps in the country. PLDT is also expanding its Global Access International Network (GAIN) that runs on 12 international cable systems and supported by four landing stations. Pena said PLDT is the only carrier that has a direct and secure fiber connection to the US. PLDT said the fixed line business has been picking up in the last three to five years due to the growing demand for DSL services in homes and offices on top of traditional voice services. Internet usage continues to grow and the fast-rising popularity of video is pushing the demand for bandwidth exponentially. According to a recent study by Cisco, global Internet traffic will be four times larger by 2016 compared to 2011. This growth will be powered largely by video. Another study conducted by Mary Meeker showed that Internet usage in the Philippines is growing at the rate of 44 percent in 2011 from the previous year, the highest among the top 10 countries with the most number of increases in Internet users. According to the study, the Philippines added 28 million Internet users from 2008 to 2011 bringing total Internet users as end-2011 to 34 million. Another study by GfK Asia showed that the Philippines was the fastest growing market for smartphones in Southeast Asia, with volume sales for Web-enabled handsets growing 326 percent in the last 12 months. ?People want to access the Internet at home, office and on the move. Increasingly, internet traffic will carry video and that will require fiber-optic networks,? Pe?a said. Meanwhile, PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart Communications has officially completed linking its Metro Manila cell sites via fiber optic cable. The operator has connected 100 percent of cell sites in NCR to the PLDT group?s fiber infrastructure as part of its Fiber in the Loop (FITL) project. ?With 100 percent of our Metro Manila network now ?fibered?, Smart can further improve its range of wireless services and technologies such as LTE, HSPA+, 3G, and even 2G,? said Pena, who also serves as technology head of Smart. Unlike traditional copper wiring and microwave radios which transmit data through electric and radio signals, fiber optics uses pulses of light beamed through thin wires of glass. This ?optical? technology allows for efficient, high speed transmission of data even over long distances. ?Although Smart is a wireless services provider, fiber is crucial to our products and services,? said Pena. ?Fiber allows our cell sites to send data faster from the core network to your device, thus translating to an even better mobile experience,? he said. The telco executive explained that unlike in the early years of mobile technology, modern smartphones and tablets have now become ?rich communication devices.? Apart from being able to handle high definition content, rich communication devices can store essential information in the cloud. They are also capable of talking intelligently and independently with other devices as demonstrated by push (email) and location (map) services. ?Because hardware and content have become very sophisticated, older transport technologies such as copper and microwave just won?t cut it anymore,? said Pena. ?Fiber is the answer and we will continue to invest in the technology so that we could address the needs of the market,? he said. On top of these, all base stations are linked up through small loops in order to ensure full resiliency. In the event that there is fiber cable cut on one side, a base station or cell site can still work via protection path, ensuring uninterrupted service.]]>

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