PLDT To Invest $100m In Big Data Services

DEALSTREETASIA: The Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co (PLDT) is planning to invest around $100 million in its Big Data business, meant to help companies and government agencies develop more effective products, services, and programs for their target markets, a top company executive said.

“The overall budget is roughly $100 million,” said PLDT chief strategy officer Winston Damarillo, noting that the telco giant has previously invested $30 million in developing its Big Data platform, during the last three years.

“The $100M investment is embedded in consumer and enterprise, plus direct enablement for businesses,” Damarillo added.

PLDT plans to cater to both large enterprises and small and medium-size enterprises for its Big Data Platform-as-a-Service, Big Data Insight Solutions, including Cloud-as-a-Service products.

Among the main industries that are expected to benefit from Big Data analytics are the financial services, logistics, retail, hospitality, healthcare and utility.

ePLDT Group chief operating officer Nerisse Ramos said PLDT’s infrastructure is capable of handling the most demanding data analytics tasks.

Currently, PLDT has over 75 million wired and wireless subscribers. It has a network of six data centers with two more in the pipeline.

The company has 2,500 racks and the number is expected to hit 8,000 in full capacity, by 2016.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company’s goal is “to create a center of data excellence in the ASEAN region.” He said the company is a pioneering member of the Open Data Platform and has in fact been steadily becoming to be the largest IP Data Network in the country.

“Over the last 10 years, PLDT has invested millions in Structured cabling, to enhance its networks, such as Internet, fiber optic networks, high bandwidth ethernet nodes, 3G and LTE-enabled cell sites, cable landing stations, international cable systems and international points of presence,” Pangilinan said. “Further, we’ve invested more than P26 billion in digital infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities. And this is just the start.”

PLDT’s wireless arm Smart Communications has a Big Data engine, which enables the company to generate insights that can enhance customer experience and create new frontier solutions for both its consumer and enterprise markets.

“All these technologies will redefine entertainment, appliances, cars, clothing, and accessories — from watches to smart cars, and from smart refrigerators, to smarter electricity and water utilities,” Pangilinan said. “We are on the cusp of real-time knowledge sharing and big data understanding.”

PLDT recently disclosed that its consolidated core net income, before exceptional items, amounted to P9.3 billion, which is P0.5 billion lower than the P9.8 billion recorded in the same period in 2014 and in line with core income guidance of P35.0 billion for 2015. The decrease was due mainly to lower EBITDA and higher financing costs.

PLDT’s last trading price went up by 0.64 per cent or P18.00 to close at P2,848.