Globe, PLDT roll out fiber to link islands

Two of the country’s leading telecommunication companies, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Globe Telecom Inc., are investing billions of pesos to modernize their networks and prepare for the surge in data services.

PLDT is setting aside P29 billion this year to finance the company’s continued network modernization that includes rolling out more fiber optic footprint.

It said of the 2014 capital expenditure, 25 percent of the total would be spent for the rollout of fiber optic and about 65 percent for broadband.

More than P1 billion, for example, was invested to expand the fiber network in Bohol to meet increased demand for telecom and data services in the province.

The expansion project is attributed to the expansion of call center and outsourcing industries and the implementation of major development projects in the province.

“This fiber expansion program will enable PLDT to fully serve the growing communications requirements of the tourism and other industries in the province,” said PLDT president and chief executive Napoleon Nazareno.

He said the fiber optic cable expansion projects in Bohol included the rollout of two legs of inland and submarine cables that would add more than 280 kilometers of fiber to PLDT’s network.

The first leg of the FOC expansion that will run across Bohol’s southwest coastal corner is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014, while the northeast leg is slated for completion in the fourth quarter.

These legs will boost the existing 90-kilometer fiber network on Panglao Island and Tagbilaran City.

“This will also enable business processing and call center companies to set up shop in Bohol because they can rely on robust data networks supporting heavy bandwidth applications,” said Nazareno.

PLDT technology group head Rolando Peña said the Bohol fiber expansion project would provide PLDT’s domestic fiber optic network a  third leg link between Tagbilaran and Cagayan de Oro that would also make the Mindanao network more resilient and less susceptible to outage.

PLDT’s current infrastructure in Bohol—which runs along Tagbilaran, Baclayon and Dauis—already serves more than 500,000 wireless subscribers and about 2,000 fixed wireless broadband subscribers, with more than 4,000 fixed lines that could increase to more than 5,000 by 2014 after completion of the project.

PLDT’s optic network expands to at least 78,000 kilometers.

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom is the first to roll out a submarine fiber optic backbone in Palawan as a part of its network modernization program.

The 400-kilometer undersea cable system serves as a transmission system  of telecommunication services between the province and the main island of Luzon, strengthening Palawan’s connectivity with the entire country and the rest of the world.

“As we’re starting to reap the benefits of our new modern network and IT systems, we are well-prepared to meet the industry’s future challenges. We will remain focused in constantly innovating and finding new ways to deliver a differentiated customer experience and create more value for our shareholders,” said Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu.

A more reliable transmission system using fiber optic technology and dense wave division multiplexing system, the Palawan cable system will provide high-speed Internet connection and a more dependable network for text and voice calls.

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