DSL expands in Philippines

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is expanding its next-generation network (NGN) covering Visayas and Mindanao in anticipation of further growth in the number of companies locating in the South.

PLDT will roll out 50,000 ADSL lines in the fourth quarter of this year as part of its NGN build-up, said Nerissa Ramos, first vice-president for PLDT’s Corporate Business Group.

NGN allows multiple services — voice, video and data or what is referred to as “triple play” — to be transmitted over a single fiber optic line.

The telecom conglomerate is increasing its capital expenditure to a combined P18 billion (US$342 million) annually from 2006 to 2008 in building a nationwide NGN and upgrading the current GSM network to 3G of its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc.

“There is a special focus on investing in Visayas and Mindanao,” Ramos said in a recent briefing held in Cebu City.

In the province of Cebu alone, there are around 12 call centers, some of which are additional sites of Metro Manila-based operators.

PLDT’s digital fiber optic network (DFON) covering Visayas and Mindanao currently has 20 nodes or a capacity of about 100 gigabytes per second.

This can transmit about three million “uncompressed” voice calls per second, Ramos said, adding that PLDT will add more nodes that can handle additional capacity of 70Gbps.

For NGN, she said PLDT will start installing line in “vertical” sites or buildings designated as IT parks or targeting outsourced services companies.

PLDT supplies communications services to more than 300 BPO (business process outsourcing) companies in the country, Ramos said.