PLDT to expand fiber by 30%; Globe gets 495 tower permits

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    PLDT Inc. plans to expand its fiber network infrastructure by around 30 percent this year to support the increasing demand for home broadband service in the country.

    Globe Telecom Inc. meanwhile said it is on track to install 2,000 towers this year after it obtained 495 permits from different local government units (LGUs) within the first two months of 2021.

    PLDT — whose fiber infrastructure is the most extensive in the country with more than 429,000 kilometers as of end-2020 — said it will lay out an additional 125,000 km. this year.

    The company in a statement said this is part of its aggressive spend on its advanced digital transport network to support PLDT and Smart Communications Inc. customers in accessing services on fiber fixed broadband, mobile data via 4G and increasingly 5G, and carrier-grade WiFi.

    “PLDT needs to expand its fiber infrastructure to support the projected number of Home installations in 2021, which could exceed 100,000 monthly average installations,” said Menardo Jimenez, PLDT senior vice president and head of Home business.

    PLDT’s fixed broadband services cover 48 percent of the total 1,634 cities and municipalities nationwide.

    Its fiber infrastructure also provides high-capacity links for the cell sites of PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart’s wireless network, which covers 96 percent of the population.

    Meanwhile, Globe in a separate statement said it gained 253 permits one month into the year before following it up with another 242 permits in February.

    The company as it targets to build a record number of new cell sites this year.

    North Luzon topped the areas with the most permits secured with 164, followed by National Capital Region with 118 and Visayas with 78. Mindanao was fourth with 71 and South Luzon, 64 permits.

    Globe said Nueva Ecija released the most permits with 40, Pangasinan came in second with 32, while Davao del Sur was at third with 31 – 23 of which came from Davao City alone.

    Cebu released 30 while Bulacan handed out 20 permits.

    In Metro Manila, Pasig City topped the LGUs with the most permits issued with 25, Manila is second with 22 and Makati third with 11. Quezon City released nine permits while Paranaque handed out seven permits.