MANILA – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said it will increase its capital expenditures in 2015 to prepare for an expected spike in mobile data usage.
The telecommunications firm said it is spending an estimated P39 billion this year for capital expenditures, which translates to about 23 percent of revenues.
“Capex for 2015 is to rise further to P39 billion in anticipation of an exponential growth in network traffic from greater smartphone ownership and our initiatives to stimulate data usage,” PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno said.
Nazareno said most of the funds will be used for the activation of more 3G base stations and the expansion of its Time Division–Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) and Frequency Division–LTE (FD-LTE).
In 2014, PLDT’s capital expenditures increased to P34.8 billion or 21 percent of service revenues to improve its data and broadband businesses.
PLDT is currently finalizing loan agreements worth $500 million with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd and Mizuho Bank Ltd, according to PLDT chief financial officer Anabelle Chua.
A $200 million term loan facility was signed with The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi last month to finance capital expenditure requirements to expand the firm’s network.
PLDT is looking to sign a loan agreement worth between $200 million and $300 million with Mizuho Bank within the first quarter of 2015.
The PLDT Group has also signed a P2 billion term loan facility with the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI).
The proceeds of the loan were used to improve and expand services.
As of end-2014, the PLDT Group’s long-term debt increased 25 percent to P130.12 billion from the P104.1 billion in end-2013.