Philippines-based operator group PLDT revealed uptake of 5G devices in 2022 was low, blaming this on devices being unaffordable for prepaid customers, which make up the bulk of its subscriber base.
In a filing to the Philippines stock exchange, which addressed a report from local outlet Phil Star, the company said there was “tepid market adoption” of devices, which is the reason for the deferment of its 5G rollout.
The story references PLDT overrunning its budget by PHP48 billion (US$866m) which sent its share price downwards. In Phil Star’s report, it quoted PLDT chief legal counsel and corporate secretary Marilyn Victorio-Aquino, telling analysts the budget hole was due to the initial rollout not attracting users. This resulted in PLDT ceasing its rollout, Victorio-Aquino said.
PLDT also denied claims it over-ordered hardware and that it had completed some projects at intended schedules.
In the bourse filing, the company also explained how its move to sell mass numbers of towers was not due to a change in technology, but rather a shift in business plans to take advantage of monetising tower assets to balance its books and support the government’s wider plan of expanding broadband coverage through shared towers.