Telecommunication companies and broadband providers are spending billions to beef up their networks to meet the explosive growth in demand for data, as more Filipinos now rely on digital technologies in the new normal.
“Nearly two years into this pandemic, more activities continue to shift online. This requires us to be unrelenting with our network initiatives despite pandemic restrictions and natural disasters,” said PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications president and chief executive Alfredo Panlilio.
“Our network has, in turn, enabled more Filipinos to access the internet to stay connected to their families, keep their livelihoods and businesses, engage in online learning and participate in e-commerce,” Panlilion said.
Over the past five years, PLDT’s capital expenditures reached P260 billion. In 2021, the company budgeted between P88 billion and P92 billion for capex to build the most extensive digital infrastructure in the country.
Meanwhile, Darius Delgado, Globe Telecom head of consumer mobile business, foresees rapid digitization to continue beyond the pandemic. He said Globe’s efforts to bring first-world connectivity to more Filipinos would further enrich their digital lifestyle.
Globe’s network upgrades to 4G LTE coupled with efforts to expand 5G in the country are helping drive the adoption of mobile data by giving internet access to more people.
“We are at the cusp of a revolution that will build a more connected nation, creating substantial economic value while improving the quality of life across demographics,” Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu said.
“Advanced connectivity is the great equalizer, and we are proud to bring 4G and 5G technologies within reach of every Filipino,” Cu said.
Ready for 2022
Converge ICT Solutions Inc. said it is ready with the new normal lifestyle and is looking forward to ease the Filipinos’ online experience and navigate through day-to-day tasks digitally with its seamless, fast, and reliable pure fiber technology in 2022.
“The goal of all our roll-out of initiatives in 2021 was to bring a better experience to Filipinos in underserved and unserved areas―and increasing our consistency every quarter in 2021 is a testament to our dedication to our subscribers,” said Converge chief operating officer Jesus Romero.
“Converge stays committed to serving its customers especially during the height of the pandemic. We are ready to face 2022 with improved services to connect our kababayans across all islands,” he said.
Citing Ookla report, Converge said it is the most consistent fixed internet provider in five regions for the fourth quarter of 2021.
In Metro Manila, Converge’s consistency score stood at 82.6 percent; Central Luzon, 81.45 percent; Calabarzon, 82.99 percent; Ilocos Region, 80.36 percent and Cagayan Valley, 85.59 percent.
Last year, Converge allotted P25 billion to expand their network nationwide.
Romero said its P25-billion investment in its national fiber network ultimately meant savings to consumers as having to piggyback on other players’ infrastructure would mean passing on the costs to customers.
“The existing infrastructure back then either did not have enough capacity or was uneconomical to use. So we took a more pragmatic approach. No one really wants to spend billions to build another submarine cable backbone, but we did what we needed to do. We’re of the thought that we cannot let external factors affect our destiny,” Romero said.
“Our data shows that more than 90 percent of our subscribers are first-time fixed broadband postpaid users. This means that we are making fixed broadband more accessible now to people who did not have access to it before or were using alternative methods to connect to the internet,” he said.
The company targets to cover 55 percent of the total Philippine households with fiber connectivity by 2023.