Filipino mobile operator Smart Communications, a subsidiary of national fixed line operator Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), has said it is raising its capital expenditure for the current year to PHP10 billion (USD234 million) to improve network coverage. Thomson Financial writes that the sum set aside for cellular services accounts for 40% of the group’s total CAPEX of PHP25 billion for the year.
‘Under the new plan, an additional 250 cell sites will be put up for the fourth quarter alone. This will bring the number of new cell sites to over 600 for 2007,’ said the head of the company’s network services division, Rolando Pena, in a statement. By the end of this year Smart hopes to have upped its cell sites and base stations to more than 6,700, providing coverage of 99% of the country. The new deployment will enhance outdoor and indoor signal coverage both in the provinces and in congested and densely populated areas in metropolitan Manila and other key cities.