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Globe, PLDT-Smart to roll out 4,000 cell sites 

GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. and PLDT, Inc. on Tuesday detailed their plans for 2021, including new cell tower installations in various parts of the country.

Ayala-led Globe committed to “fast-track cell tower installations in 24 more local government units (LGUs).”

In an e-mailed statement, Globe said several LGUs in Palawan, Nueva Ecija, Negros Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Cebu, Quezon, Batangas, Bulacan, and Ifugao “have set up their respective one-stop shops to facilitate the issuance of permitting requirements for telcos.”

Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice-president for program delivery, said the company was hoping such LGUs would inspire others to support telcos in bringing better services to their customers in 2021.

Globe targets to install 2,000 cell towers next year.

In a statement on Dec. 15, the telco said it had installed at least 1,050 new cell sites and upgraded 10,876 sites this year “to further improve its connectivity and expand its coverage to include even the remotest provinces.”

PLDT said in a separate statement on Tuesday that it was expecting the rollout of its home broadband service to reach 48% of the total cities and municipalities nationwide this year.

PLDT plans to increase the capacity of its fiber-to-the-home network and lay out additional ports next year.

It said its fiber infrastructure is now at more than 422,000 kilometers.

“This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile networks, which cover 96% of the population and are present in 95% of cities and municipalities,” it said.

Smart Communications, Inc., PLDT’s wireless arm, plans to roll out 2,000 cell sites next year.

“To date, Smart has over 10,000 sites across the country, including more than 700 new cell sites fired up by the end of 2020 despite mobility restrictions and supply chain challenges due to COVID-19. These will help Smart increase its LTE population coverage, cover more municipalities and provide more capacity for dense areas,” PLDT said.

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

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