PLDT to shut down 3G next year

Integrated telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. plans to shut down its third-generation (3G) network by next year to maximize current frequencies to other technologies it uses that can provide better connectivity services to users.

At a press briefing on Thursday, PLDT chief finance officer Annabelle L. Chua said the company intends to “sunset” its 3G network since only “less than 5 percent of devices” use it.

“There is an opportunity to optimize our network with the shutdown of 3G eventually,” she told reporters.

PLDT-Smart president and CEO Alfredo Panlilio added that the market is ready for the shutdown of 3G service, but “the bigger challenge is bringing the 2G users to 4G.”

For the first half of the year, PLDT reported a 12-percent increase to P17 billion in its telco core income, putting them in a better position to meet the company’s P33 billion telco core target for the year.

Consolidated revenues stood at a record-high P94.3 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago.

“We expect stronger headwinds in the second half, with higher inflation impacting our customers’ pockets as well as our operating costs. With so much pressure on growth, we must stay focused on our strategic initiatives and managing costs,” said PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

“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,” he added.

PLDT has already spent P46 billion of its planned P85 billion capital expenditure from January to June.


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