PLDT, Smart secure ‘record’ permits in 2nd half of 2020

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart have secured a record number of permits to build and upgrade cell sites in the second half of 2020 following the signing of the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s (ARTA) Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) on streamlining permits for common towers.

In a statement on Tuesday, PLDT-Smart said over 2,500 permits to build cell sites were secured by Smart alone, with an additional 4,000 permits secured by PLDT.

“As of November, Smart has also increased the number of its base stations to over 58,000, increasing the number of base stations by 20 percent compared to end-2019. Smart has also rolled out additional 5G sites as it accelerates its 5G commercial services nationwide,” PLDT-Smart said.

Alfredo Panlilio, Smart president, CEO, and PLDT chief revenue officer, thanked the government for “making it easier” for the company to expand its reach and build out its network.

“Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the lockdowns, we managed to ramp up our network rollout, with the help of government,” Panlilio said.

To date, it said Smart has over 10,000 cell sites in the country, 700 of which were installed by the end of 2020 despite the restrictions and challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, PLDT’s fiber infrastructure now spans 422,000 kilometers and is projected to reach 48 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of the year.

From 2015 to 2019, PLDT’s investments in capital expenditures (CAPEX) has reached PHP 260 billion, with the company’s CAPEX for 2020 alone projected to reach at least PHP70 billion.

Source: Philippines News agency

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