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Fiber reinvigorates fixed line services, says PLDT

After being overshadowed by mobile services for more than a decade, fixed line services are making a comeback on the back of high-speed broadband internet powered by fiber optic technologies. PLDT-Smart Technology Group Head Rolando Peña said fiber optic technology enables the fixed line network to transmit voice, data, and video over the internet at much higher bandwidths, faster speeds, and better quality.

“The fixed line network which is turbo-charged by fiber is a strategic advantage that the PLDT Group enjoys,” Peña said in a technical briefing Wednesday.

“This enables us to offer advanced multi-media communications services not only through our fixed line network through fiber-to-the-home services but also through our mobile network using services like Long Term Evolution or LTE,” he added.

PLDT’s total fiber optic network has already reached 54,000 kilometers, the most extensive in the country and four times more than what the competition is building. Meanwhile, its Domestic Fiber Optic Network (DFON) has the largest long-haul capacity of 4.6 Tbps in the country.

Fiber End to End
Peña said PLDT is “fibering” its network from end-to-end. “We are bringing fiber up to the home and enterprises as well as to the cell sites for a richer broadband experience of our customers across all business segments.”

“The closer the fiber, the bigger the available bandwidth,” he pointed out.

Also part of super-charging PLDT’s fixed line network is the expansion of its Global Access International Network (GAIN) that runs on 12 international cable systems and supported by four landing stations.

“PLDT is the only carrier that has a direct and secure fiber connection to the US where more than 90% of our internet traffic goes amid the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo in the country,” Peña said.

These robust and resilient fiber transmission networks are needed to handle the fast-growing data traffic both here and overseas.

Data usage boosts fixed line business
Actually, the fixed line business has been picking up in the last three to five years due to the growing demand for DSL services in homes and offices on top of traditional voice services.

Internet usage continues to grow and the fast-rising popularity of video is pushing the demand for bandwidth exponentially.

According to a recent study by Cisco, global interent traffic will be four times larger by 2016 compared to 2011. This growth will be powered largely by video.

Another study conducted by Mary Meeker showed that internet usage in the Philippines is growing at the rate of 44% in 2011 from the previous year, the highest among the top 10 countries with the most number of increase in internet users.

According to the study, the Philippines added 28 million internet users from 2008 to 2011 bringing total internet users as end-2011 to 34 million.

Another study by GfK Asia showed that the Philippines was the fastest growing market for smartphones in Southeast Asia, with volume sales for these web-enabled handsets growing  326 percent in the last 12 months.

“People want to access the internet at home, office and on the move. Increasingly, internet traffic will carry video and that will require fiber-optic networks,” Peña concluded.

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