PLDT Global, Softbank to power Japanese firms

A UNIT of PLDT, Inc. has partnered with Japan-based SoftBank Corp. to offer internet service to Japanese enterprises.

Under its partnership with Japanese telecommunications service provider SoftBank, PLDT Global Corp. will offer SmartInternet Suite Ether to small, medium, and large enterprise clients in Japan, PLDT said in an e-mailed statement over the weekend.

SmartInternet Suite Ether, PLDT Global said, helps businesses address their needs “for a higher-grade internet environment that suits diverse work styles and evolving business areas.”

PLDT Global President and Chief Executive Officer Katrina Luna-Abelarde said the partnership is part of a broader PLDT Group initiative to “improve customer experiences in and outside of the Philippines.”

Norioki Sekiguchi, vice president of Global Business Division at SoftBank, said: “This is just the first step of our collaboration, and we look forward to creating new opportunities together.”

Meanwhile, PLDT announced on Saturday it was ready to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion next year to meet the requirements of its mobile and fixed-line customers.

The company expects its capital expenditures to hit at least P70 billion this year.

PLDT noted it has spent about P260 billion in the last five years to improve its services nationwide.

“We want to benchmark ourselves, not just with local competition, but with our neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam, as we would want our network performance to ultimately be at par with global companies,” PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart Communications President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio said in a statement.

To raise capital, PLDT recently sold its 37-storey Smart Tower in Makati City for $128 million to real estate development company DMC Urban Property Developers, Inc.

PLDT’s attributable net income in the third quarter rose 95% year-on-year to P7.41 billion, amid the rise in demand for digital or online services due to the pandemic.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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