In a bid to improve quality and coverage of telecommunications services in the Philippines, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) enhanced its nationwide tower rollout through the issuance of 34 building permits, bringing to a total of 211 permits.

These new permits for tower infrastructure will cover areas in Metro Manila and the provinces of Batangas, Rizal, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Leyte, Samar, Southern Leyte, Camiguin, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, among others.

Smart President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio said the tower rollouts are only among the many parts of PLDT’s network infrastructure.

“Aside from towers, we need an extensive fiber-optic network, and we currently have at least 360,000 kilometers of a fiber-optic network. We also have data centers and partners for international capacity. That’s the kind of large-scale network that you would need to build to offer a competitive service,” Panlilio divulged, adding that the rollout would lay the foundation for the company’s 5G rollout.

With the government paving the way for the telecom companies to improve processes and easing requirements in building cell towers, the company regained momentum on its network rollout efforts and has leveled up its target capital expenditures back up to about Php70 billion.

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