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McClatchy-Tribune  07/15/2014 12:01 AM ET
PLDT eyes PH towns full 3G coverage by year-end [The Manila Times, Philippines :: ]

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July 15--The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) expects to have 100-percent third-generation (3G) network coverage in all Philippine towns by the end of this year as it works on completing its fiber cable network nationwide.

"We are looking at 100 percent 3G coverage for all the municipalities by the end of the year," Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT president and chief executive officer, said recently.

The telecom giant is completing the 'fibering' of its base stations and also expanding its 3G footprint as it works toward 100-percent coverage. At present, the company's 3G coverage is about 87 percent nationwide.

In April this year, the telecom giant had said it hoped to reach 100 percent 3G coverage by the third quarter ot this year.

However, Nazareno said PLDT has not been able to reach remote provinces, particularly in Western Mindanao, because of security issues in the region.

The PLDT Group's total mobile phone subscriber base stood at 72.5 million at end-September of last year. Of the total, Smart Communications Inc. had 24.7 million subscribers while Talk 'N Text had 31.9 million subscribers and Digitel, through the Sun Cellular brand, had 15.8 million.

For broadband, the PLDT group's combined subscriber base stood at 3.3 million at endSeptember 2013, of which Smart Broadband had a wireless subscriber base of over 1.8 million.

PLDT's guidance for 2014 core net income stands at P39.5 billion.

Over the past two years, PLDT has operated within a challenging competitive environment while working to integrate Digitel and Sun Cellular into PLDT Group.


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