The Philippine Long Distance Telecom Co. (PLDT) said on Monday the company needs to do a lot of work to improve Internet services in the country and make it accessible and affordable to many Filipinos.
PLDT and Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto said the company allocated last month P39 billion for capital expenditure for 2015 to strengthen its 32G and 4G networks, but it also has to contend with new challenges this year.
He said 2015 would be marked by “three major influences: First the company foresee continuous intense competitive pressure in the drive to gain market share and to respond to new product offerings, principally in the Internet space.”
“Another major influence will be the over-the-top content players,” Isberto said, referring to the delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator on control or distribution of content.
“Maraming kailangan gawin. But let me focus on just one factor that is often overlooked, if not taken for granted. And this brings me to my second point: I refer to the need for sustained and very substantial investment in data network infrastructure and services,” Isberto said.
The PLDT Group, including Smart Telecommunications and Sun Cellular, invested P160 billion on data network infrastructure in the past five years.
It allocated P39 billion this year to roll out more 4G and 3G mobile phone cell sites and more fiber optic cables to homes and offices. As a result, Internet services improved and became available in many parts of the country.
PLDT and other telecom companies have provided major support to the business processing industry, the country’s biggest employer with more than one million workers and the second biggest dollar earner. The Philippines is the second largest BPO industry in the world behind India.
“Hinde naman completely true na so inadequate yung ating infrastructure because we wouldn’t be the second largest BPO industry in the world, if we don’t have a good IT infrastructure,” Isberto said.
He said the BPO industry needs a skilled workforce and high-quality and reliable data connectivity “and we have been able to support this industry’s needs not only in Metro Manila and surrounding areas, but also in other growth centers in other parts of the country.”
“I acknowledge that a lot of work has to be done to further improve Internet services and to make these accessible and affordable to more and more Filipinos,” Isberto said.