PLDT Inc. is set to build two more cable landing stations by 2021 to further expand its fiber footprint and address the increasing demand for data services.
Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), said the company is investing in more cable landing stations.
“We already have three cable landing stations and at least two more coming up next year. I think that’s something a single fixed broadband operator cannot do. In particular, when they have to grow outside of the big main post, it becomes very costly to lay all the fiber in the country. We can do that because we are using fiber not only for fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) but also for mobile and for Enterprise customers,” Pangilinan said.
At present, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. are part of a network of 16 international cable systems.
PLDT earlier joined an international consortium to build the Asia Direct Cable, a high performance submarine cable connecting the Philippines to other Asian countries, allowing it to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as fifth generation (5G), cloud services, internet-of-things and artificial intelligence.
With its extensive network, PLDT said it will ramp up products and services in 2021, leveraging on its integrated network to serve customers’ increasing need for data.
“PLDT and Smart offers include mobile internet as well as your fixed wireless and fiber-to-the-home,” said Alfredo Panlilio, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president and CEO.
PLDT said its vast network, the most extensive and advanced digital transport network in the country at 395,000 kilometers as of end-September 2020, supports all the internet delivery platforms such as fiber fixed broadband, mobile data services, via 4G and increasingly 5G, and carrier-grade WiFi.
The ongoing expansion work will extend PLDT’s fiber footprint by another 81,000 km., 31,000 km. more in 2020 and 50,000 km. in 2021.
In addition, the company said its backbone network capacity as of end-September is at 55 terabits per second. With its ongoing works, PLDT is looking to increase this capacity further by another 37 terabits per second to serve customers’ continuously growing demand for data and deliver technologies like 5G, Long Term Evolution and FTTH.
“One of the benefits of an integrated operator is that we can leverage the entire network.
For example, our fiber network can be leveraged multiple times for fiber-to-the-home where the cost is very skewed toward the last mile. Meanwhile, we leverage on the very same network for Enterprise businesses,” Pangilinan said.
PLDT said its extensive fiber infrastructure also supports Smart’s network by providing high-capacity links for base stations, the electronic equipment installed on cell sites that transmit and receive radio frequencies. These stations connect customers’ mobile devices, such as phones and WiFi routers to the network.
From the base station all the way to the data centers, the connection is mostly fiber. Faster transmission of data is best enabled by fiberizing the base stations, PLDT added.