PANGILINAN-LED telecom and digital services provider PLDT said Monday it will deploy the latest advanced hybrid fiber technologies that can deliver super-fast broadband service through regular phone lines in buildings and residences starting next year.
The move comes after the successful trials of two advanced hybrid fiber technologies, one by KT Corporation (formerly known as Korea Telecom) called “GiGa Wire” and the other is by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. called “G.fast.” Both are capable of providing data speeds per user of up to 600-700 Mbps per user, depending on the length of the local copper loop.
Both GiGa Wire and G.fast work by connecting buildings and dwellings with fiber optic cables and using special equipment to enable the internal copper wiring of these structures to deliver fiber-like data speeds.
“This new initiative is part of our broad effort to make fiber-powered, high-speed connectivity more widely available to the public. It’s part and parcel of building the ‘Gigabit Society’ – where high-bandwidth, low-latency digital services in homes, businesses, healthcare services, utilities and schools become an integral part of daily life,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Ernesto Alberto, PLDT’s chief revenue officer, said the initial plan calls for deploying Giga Wire and G.fast solutions in over 500 buildings in different parts of the country next year.
“This number will be split between residential and office buildings. But this is just the start,” Alberto said.
An additional 1,600 buildings are being lined up for 2018 and 2019. Total investment in this three-year deployment will amount to about P2 billion.
For PLDT, these hybrid technologies offer a way to take full advantage of the company’s extensive telephone network in order to deliver fiber-powered broadband services.
The vast majority of office and residential buildings are currently wired internally with copper. And it is difficult and costly to re-wire these structures with fiber. Also, the majority of homes are still connected by regular phone lines.
In the case of PLDT — the number of “homes passed” – i.e., the number of homes that can be reached by PLDT’s regular phone lines – is 6 million.
“Hybrid fiber technologies break down barriers to fiber deployment. These enable us to extend more quickly super-fast broadband services to areas where fiber deployment is difficult. We side step the challenge of having to re-wire buildings,” said PLDT Chief Technology and Information Adviser Joachim Horn.
The deployment of hybrid fiber solutions complements the ongoing roll-out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections. Currently, the number of “homes passed” by PLDT’s FTTH network is 2.5 million.
“With these two parallel and complementary rollouts, PLDT is well-positioned to bring high-speed broadband to more areas of the country more quickly and efficiently than anyone else,” Horn said.