Converge sets P20B capex for 2021, eyes 55 pct of homes nationwide

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2021 10:54 AM | Updated as of Mar 12 2021 12:10 PM

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MANILA - Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions said Thursday it allotted some P20 billion for capital expenditure this year.

The broadband provider aims to reach at least 55 percent of residential homes nationwide by 2025, its CEO and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy said in a virtual briefing.

Some 20 to 30 percent of the capital will be used for its backbone infrastructure, he said. The rest will fund the increase in fiber-to-the-home ports (FTTH) to "deepen" its network and other expenses such as further digitalization.

"In the future we should have covered the entire country by 2025, at least reaching 55 percent of our household so that you can see how Converged is focused in this field of broadband," Uy said.

"People are hungry for better internet service in the country," he added.

Uy said its services would reach Visayas and Mindanao by the second half of the year. Converge had a "soft opening" in Cebu while tests in Davao would be conducted next month, he added.

Its backbone in Mindanao is almost done, he said. By the first half, Converge should have laid down an additional 1,800 km of subsea cables, he added. 

Uy also reiterated that partnership talks with SpaceX Starlink satellite system remain "premature."

Musk's SpaceX has launched 800 satellites into orbit for its Starlink broadband satellite internet service.

Converge in 2020 doubled its subscriber base reaching 1,038,000 residential subscribers from 530,000 in 2019, it said. 

Demand for mobile and broadband internet service surged in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic as employees and students were forced to work and study at home. 

Net income after tax reached P3.38 billion in 2020 from P1.94 billion in 2019, it said in a disclosure to the stock exchange. 

Converge launched its $600 million initial public offer in October last year, the country's second largest. 

-- with a report from Reuters