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PLDT completes upgrade program ahead of schedule

PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) announced on Tuesday the completion of its P67 billion ($1.6 billion) capital expenditure (capex) program for the modernization of its network ahead of schedule.

“The group’s investments have produced a network that is unrivalled in terms of coverage, capacity, and resiliency,” PLDT president and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno said in a statement.

The two-year network modernization program started in early 2011. Finishing it ahead of the end-2012 target means subscribers can now experience a more enhance service quality and reliability and more than triple voice and data capacity.

“What was already the most extensive and advanced network in the country has been further super-charged with our access network providing the widest coverage via the expansion of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) sites and a transport network that rides on over 48,000 kilometers (kms) of fiber assets with an additional 6,000 kms of fiber-to-the-home system rolled out,” said the PLDT president. This brings the PLDT Group’s total fiber assets to 54,000 kms.

“We are close to covering the whole of Metro Manila with the more reliable and faster fiber connection and gaining momentum in servicing the rest of the country,” Nazareno said.

He added that the PLDT Group –through its cellular subsidiaries, Smart Communications Inc. and Sun Cellular—has established an access network that is enabled with 3G (third generation) and LTE technologies, with 3G coverage reaching majority of the population and LTE piloting in a growing number of areas.

These developments come at the heels of a core network upgrade that would boost PLDT’s domestic fiber optic network (with 100-gigabyte technology) and the completion of an international undersea cable system that more than doubled the PLDT group’s international bandwidth capacity.

“No other provider comes close to the network that we have now, not just in terms of capacity but more importantly, in terms of resiliency and efficiency,” Nazareno stressed.

“We are now in the best position to meet the demands of the future. We are extremely prepared for data explosion,” he added.

At the back-end, the group’s IT modernization involves technology refreshment and group-wide optimization and convergence of IT systems and platforms for customer relations management, operations support, billing, business intelligences, enterprise resources, and settlements.

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