Growing demand for online videos fueling Fibr growth: PLDT


Changing consumer habits, particularly the accelerating shift of people to online video viewing, is a major factor powering the growth of fiber-powered broadband services, according to a senior executive of PLDT.

“Throughout the country, the demand is for fiber-powered Home broadband that can provide quality viewing of online video,” said PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Business Market Development Oscar Enrico A. Reyes, Jr.

“People’s growing appetite for online video has helped raise the broadband penetration of PLDT Home to an all-time high of just under two million customers in the first nine months of 2018, an increase of 8% year-on-year in unique data service subscribers. This has boosted Home revenues by 12% in the third quarter of 2018 to P27.3 billion,” he added.

According to Reyes, more and more Filipinos are shifting from traditional broadcast television to online services because video on demand services allow them to watch the programs they want, when they want.

A recent study on The State of Online Video 2018 done by Limelight Networks found that viewers in the Philippines watch the most online video each week – 8 hours and 46 minutes – out of ten countries that included the U.S., Japan, France, Germany, Singapore and South Korea. Filipinos are now watching more online video and broadcast video.

Capitalizing on that trend, PLDT has taken steps to further improve the viewing experience of Home customers.

In the first nine months of 2018, PLDT HOME customers got a free speed boost for fiber broadband plans. For instance, customers who signed up for Fibr Plan 1299 with a speed of 3 Mbps now enjoy faster speeds of up to 5 Mbps, while those who took on Fibr Plan 1699 with a speed of 5 Mbps now enjoy 10 Mbps. Freebies for customers include a six-month iFlix subscription.

PLDT HOME has also launched a partnership with Google Wifi to extend fiber-powered WiFi data coverage to every part of the customer’s residence. One of the Home Fibr Google Plans is the Google Wifi Plan 3799, the ultimate Smart HOME starter pack, which includes up to 50 Mbps Unlimited Fibr, and up to 3 Google Wifi units. Subscribers will also be assisted for free by tech experts from the PLDT HOME Geek Squad.

“We’ve found that providing services like Google Wifi significantly improves the customer experience by ensuring that all parts of the home have strong broadband service,” Reyes explained.

Underpinning all this is the ongoing modernization and expansion of PLDT’s fixed and mobile networks under its P58 billion capital expenditure (capex) program for 2018.

“As of the third quarter of 2018, PLDT HOME’s fiber coverage has already reached 5.75 million homes passed, exceeding the 5.3 million target for the full year of 2018,” said Reyes.

“PLDT HOME has also boosted its capacity to 2.25 million Fibr-Fast Broadband ports as of the third quarter of 2018, more than double the count as of end-2017 and above the 2.20 million ports targeted for 2018.”

The continuing expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic cable network which provides the vital foundation for the development of the Group’s fixed and mobile networks has enabled the group to surpass several key full-year 2018 roll-out targets three months ahead of schedule.

By end-September 2018, PLDT’s total fiber footprint – consisting chiefly of transmission and distribution facilities – had reached 221,000 kilometers, exceeding the full year 2018 target of 210,000 kilometers.