PLDT, Smart secure 661 permits to build cell sites

Giant PLDT Inc. and its wireless arm, Smart Communications Inc., managed to secure 661 permits from local government units (LGUs) nationwide to fast track its cell cites building projects for better connectivity services.

PLDT-Smart said that it invested P260 billion from 2015 to 2019 for its nationwide tower rollout.

“This invaluable help from the national government will now make it easier for us to build more towers and pick up the pace of our countrywide expansion program,” Alfredo Panlilio, Smart president and CEO, and PLDT chief revenue officer said.

“We are grateful to the LGUs who are supportive of this initiative — we take it as a nod of confidence and will reciprocate it with the customer experience,” Panlilio said.

PLDT chief said Smart typically builds around 1,000 to 1,500 towers every year. He noted that while building more towers is key for better coverage. These are just one part of the telco’s network infrastructure.

“Towers are just one element in the mobile network infrastructure of PLDT-Smart, and we have both fixed and mobile infrastructures. We have about 10,000 macro and microcell sites and more than 20,000 LTE base stations strategically situated across the country,” Panlilio said.

PLDT, Smart, secure 661permits to build cell sites

“Complementing the towers is an extensive fiber-optic network that we currently have at least 360,000 kilometers. We continuously expand our fiber optic network, and will be applying for permits to build more, hopeful that the LGUs would give us the same privilege,” he said.

“We also have data centers and partners for international capacity. That’s the kind of large-scale network that is needed to be built to be able to provide competitive service,” he added.

PLDT and Smart earlier said areas in Metro Manila and the of Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Ilocos Norte, , Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Palawan, Iloilo, Capiz, Samar, Oriental, and Zamboanga del Norte are currently inaccessible for repairs and installation due to community lockdowns.

Meanwhile, the company’s rival Globe Telecom also announced it secured a total of 715 permits to build cell sites nationwide.

Globe also said it also secured 84 Certificates of Final Electrical Inspection (CFEI) permits in the last two months.