PLDT, Inc. is targeting to roll out around 145 sites this year, mainly to support the growing demand for mobile services and sustain the increasing data usages of its subscribers.
“As at Dec. 31, 2021, we have completed 7,200 5G base stations and target to roll out approximately 145 sites in 2022,” the company said in its annual report released on Thursday.
Smart Communications, Inc., the mobile arm of PLDT, had “38,600 4G (fourth-generation)/LTE (long-term-evolution) sites” nationwide as of Dec. 31, the company noted.
“We continue to expand our LTE capacity and roll out more physical sites to widen our coverage in order to sustain the growing demand for our services,” it added.
The mobile network, according to the company, is supported by its fiber infrastructure, which was at 743,700 kilometers as of end-2021.
“These wireless and fiber rollouts and other network-related initiatives made up the bulk of the P89 billion spend for 2021, in line with guidance.”
The telco service provider also said its mobile broadband now covers more than 96% of the population and is present in over 96% of the country’s cities and municipalities.
PLDT has set its capital expenditures (capex) for 2022 at P76 billion to P80 billion, lower than the P89-billion capex last year.
Its net income for 2021, which includes exceptional costs, grew by P2.1 billion or 9% to P26.4 billion.
Total service revenues for 2021 went up 6% to P182.1 billion from P171.5 billion in 2020.
Broken down, revenues from the company’s consumer and enterprise segments increased 7% to P176.1 billion from P165.3 billion.
Meanwhile, revenues for fixed wireless business grew 47% to P3.3 billion in 2021, “as limited mobility confined customers to their homes and increased the demand for more affordable and accessible fixed wireless broadband internet solutions, particularly in areas not yet served by fiber,” PLDT said in an e-mailed statement.
“As of year-end 2021, Smart’s fixed wireless subscriber base reached approximately 1 million subscribers.”
Its telco core income rose 8% to P30.2 billion last year from P28.1 billion in 2020.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin