PLDT Inc. plans to end its third generation (3G) network in 2023.
The telco plans to “sunset” its 3G network since “less than 5% of devices use 3G,” according to PLDT Chief Financial Officer Anabelle Chua, who made the announcement during a news conference on Thursday in Makati City.
“There is an opportunity to optimize our network with the shutdown of 3G eventually,” she said.
Mario Tamayo, the head of PLDT Network, stated that the business was “looking at next year [to shut down] our 3G network.”
“We want to maximize our frequencies with other technologies that we use,” he added.
PLDT- According to Alfredo Panlilio, president and CEO of Smart, the market was prepared for the termination of 3G service because only 4% of users were using it.
“The jump to 4G is easier. The bigger challenge is bringing the 2G users to 4G,” he said.
Core telco income for PLDT in the first half of 2022 was P17 billion, up 12% from the same period last year.
According to Panlilio, PLDT is on schedule to achieve its goals by 2022. The carrier plans to earn P33 billion in core telco income this year.
Total revenues were P94.3 billion, an increase of 5% from the prior year.
Of its anticipated P85 billion in annual capital expenditures, PLDT spent P46 billion from January to June.
The capital expenditures include the building of the eleventh data center targeted at hyperscalers, the international cabling systems Jupiter and Apricot, the impact of tower companies’ sale and leaseback of existing towers, and the building out of new towers. They also include investments in capacity to support the home broadband business and the increase in network traffic.
“We expect stronger headwinds in the second half, with higher inflation impacting our customers’ pockets as well as our own operating costs. With so much pressure on growth, it is imperative that we stay focused on our strategic initiatives and manage costs,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
“As for full-year profit guidance, we maintain telco core income at P33 billion, albeit some upside may be possible as portions of proceeds from the towers’ sale are used to pay down debts in the second half.”