Sunday, March 3, 2024

PLDT shifts focus back on fixed service as wireless business falters

Tech provider PLDT is strengthening its home and enterprise segments amid continuing growth even as income from its wireless business continue to decline.


?We are aiming to shift our focus from wireless to fixed for the foreseeable future,? said PLDT and Smart Communications chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan during in a press briefing.

?The world today is turning deeply digital. And, as our results for the first quarter this year PLDT and Smart are moving with the times and making their digital pivot at an accelerating pace,? he added.

PLDT posted a core income of P5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017, down 26 percent from the first quarter of the previous year.

In its quarterly report filed to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, PLDT?s consolidated service revenues reached P35.6 billion for the first three months of the year, which was lower by 7 percent year-on-year.

Wireless consumer revenues amounted to P14.7 billion, declining by 18 percent from the previous year?s P17.98 billion.

PLDT?s home and enterprise business units set the pace for its revenue growth as it posted double-digit revenue increases year on year.

Home service revenues reached P7.8 billion, up by 12 percent while enterprise service revenues increased to P8.5 billion, climbing 13 percent from the first quarter of 2016.

The combined revenues of the home and enterprise groups now make up 46 percent of PLDT?s consolidated service revenues, higher than the 41 percent contribution of the wireless consumer business of Smart, TNT, and Sun.

The combined subscriber base of Smart, TNT, and Sun rose to 400,000 in the first quarter of 2017 from end 2016.

PLDT has expanded its rollout of broadband lines to provide faster Internet to households and businesses nationwide.

In the first quarter 2017, PLDT expanded the reach of its fiber-optic network to cover over 3 million homes passed, up from 2.8 million homes at end-2016 which is on track to its 4.4 million homes target by end-2017.

It is also pursuing the delivery of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services in key urban centers in various parts of the country.

In line with this, PLDT launched its fiber-powered PLDT SmartCity program (previously ?Fibr City? program) first in Toledo City, Cebu in February, then in General Santos City in April, and then Naga City in May.

Complementing its stepped up FTTH roll-out, PLDT is also set to start deploying in the second quarter of this year hybrid fiber technologies like that can deliver fiber-like data speeds through the copper wires in homes and buildings under a three-year program.

Meanwhile, Smart has stepped up the expansion of the coverage and capacity of its LTE and 3G networks to better serve the rising demand for mobile data services.

After completing its initial deployment in Metro Davao late last year, Smart brought its LTE and LTE-Advanced roll out to Metro Cebu and Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.

Under its three-year plan submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission, Smart will provide LTE coverage to 95% of the country?s cities and municipalities by 2018 using low- and high-band radio frequencies, including those obtained through the acquisition of the telecoms businesses of San Miguel Corporation.

PLDT will spend P46 billion this year for its capital expenditures higher from last year?s P42.8 billion to further grow its Home and Enterprise business units.

?We are building for the future by further strengthening the combined reach and capabilities of our wired and wireless networks. And we are doing this in ways that are very mindful of impending advances in technologies such as 5G, so that our current network investments will deliver benefits not only today but also well into the future,? PLDT Group chief information and technology adviser Joachim Horn said. — PNA


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