The country’s two largest telecom companies expect stiff competition next year as new players aggressively expand their networks.Globe Telecom Inc. president and chief executive Ernest Cu said over the weekend competition in the home broadband market would further intensify next year “because not only Globe has actually been rolling out or has rolled out in terms of fiber [network].”“Previously the two telco incumbents were focused on our competition on wireless, but I think both of us have put the home and fiber-to-the-home on our sights. So, it’s not quite an open field in terms on that segment that used to be. There would be an intense completion in that segment [home broadband],” Cu said.“I think it’s a race of who can deploy much better, deploy much quicker and also provide the right service to the public. Bottom line, [it would be a] very intense competition for the home in 2021,” he said.Cu considered ICT Solutions Inc. as a “threat” in the broadband space. “Any competitor’s a threat and I think Converge, as what they’ve done, I think has to be admired,” he said.“I do believe they are [a threat] and they’re a formidable competitor in the broadband space,” Cu said.Globe programmed $300 million for this year’s capital expenditures to roll out fiber-to-the-home network nationwide.Globe increased its fiber rollouts by nearly 52 percent as of August this year, compared to full year 2019. This covered key locations such as Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas, Cebu and Davao del Sur.PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications chairman Manuel Pangilinan said he was also anticipating the competition to be intense next year.
“We are cautiously optimistic by 2021,” he said.PLDT plans to raise the number of fiber ports by 336,000 such that its fiber and copper ports would reach 4.15 million by the end of 2020.The company said the rollout of its Home broadband services reached 46 percent of the total cities and municipalities nationwide as of end-September, providing high-speed broadband connectivity to more Filipinos.PLDT’s capacity also continued to expand, with the total number of fiber ports available for the use of new customers increasing to 3.81 million by end-September 2020.Converge, on the other hand, deployed about 490,00 new fiber-to-the-home ports in the last three months which was 2.7 times the number of FTTH ports it deployed in the first quarter of the year.Converge’s nationwide network reached more than 5.1 million homes nationwide as of end-September.The company had 900,531 residential subscribers as of September, up from 454,438 residential subscribers in the same period last year.Meanwhile, DITO Telecommunity expects to commercially roll out mobile services by March 2021.