Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has reported first quarter earnings of PHP9.4 billion (USD174 million), up 65% year-on-year. The telco said the bulk of the growth was derived from one-off foreign exchange and derivatives gains. It has forecast full-year 2005 profits of PHP27 billion, up from PHP25 billion last year. PLDT’s mobile units Smart and PilTel added a total of 1.04 million new subscribers during the quarter, lower than the 1.7 million added in the same period of 2004 marking a slowdown in mobile growth.
In a separate story the regulator, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), has extended the hearing on VoIP services following requests to do so from telcos and equipment suppliers. The debate was started in November 2003 when telcos were granted the exclusive right to offer VoIP services; a date for the final ruling has not been disclosed.