Philippines-based PLDT highlighted a sharp jump in mobile download speeds since 2017, as it pushes for additional gains with more towers.

In a statement, the operator noted average mobile broadband download speeds rose 62 per cent to 15.7Mb/s in 2020 compared with 2017, based on analysis by testing company Ookla.

PLDT said it expanded the reach and capacity of its mobile and fixed networks to serve the increased data demands caused by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Chief revenue officer Alfredo Panlilio said delivering “good customer experience” remained the operator’s “North Star”.

In 2020, PLDT took advantage of government efforts to streamline previously complex processes around building shared infrastructure to add 700 sites to its network, taking its total to more than 10,000 by the end of the year.

It plans to add 2,000 sites this year: it previously outlined plans to boost capex by up to 25 per cent in 2021, as it supports a government push to improve services.

Since July 2020, its mobile unit Smart Communications secured permission covering 2,500 additional sites.