PLDT says Smart accelerates tower rollout, aims to improve coverage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2020 09:19 AM

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) further accelerates its nationwide tower rollout. Photo: PLDT Inc/Handout/File

MANILA - PLDT Inc said its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc would further hasten cell tower rollout with the issuance of new building permits.

At least 34 building permits were issued as part of the government's efforts to help improve telecommunications services in the country, PLDT Inc said in a statement.

The telco said Smart now has 211 building and pre-construction permits from the government since the Anti-Red Tape Authority issued its joint memorandum circular in August.

“The initiative of government to make it easier for us to build more towers quicker will be a big help in terms of improving coverage,” Smart president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer Alfredo Panlilio said in a recent interview.

Issued permits cover tower constructions in Metro Manila, Batangas, Rizal, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Leyte, Samar, Southern Leyte, Camiguin, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, Zamboanga del Zur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, among others, it said.

Smart, on an average, builds 1,000 to 1,500 towers annually, Panlilio said.

Building towers is also "crucial" to the company's 5G rollout, Panlilio said, which Smart earlier said went "live" as a commercial service in central business districts in July. 

During his 5th State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte urged telcos to improve services by December.