Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said it is increasing its capital expenditure this year, the highest in the telco’s history.
“Yes. Well, it would be higher than the P39 billion guidance we gave,” PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
“I think there were some initial numbers that were prepared by management and proposed to the board… It’s work in progress, it’s higher than P39 billion, is all I can say this time,” he added.
Asked if it would be the most aggressive capital expenditure ever for PLDT, Pangilinan replied: “Probably, the capex . . . highest level ever starting this year.”
Pangilinan also said, “It would be an across-the-board improvement of the expansion of the seller network, completion of the 3G… and the aggressive rollout of the 4G, and then improvement of the fixed line… Like today, we approved the capacity of our digital fiber optic network to increase it to more than 5 terabytes per second on a nationwide basis.”
On the other hand, PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno noted, “Our capex estimate was P39 billion… It might exceed P40 billion this year for additional capacity and coverage.”
“Because the demand on data is really growing very fast now– both mobile and fixed broadband, the data requirements, also the enterprise and SMEs – the demand is increasing very much. We need to program it well in advance for capacity, also for international cabling, because a lot of our content is coming from the US. Most likely we will have an elevated capex next year,” he added.
The company said it will finance its capex program through a combination of loans internal financing.
A PLDT official, who requested anonymity, said they are looking at $200 million from the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and $200 million to $300 million from Mizuho Bank.