PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart are ramping up customer support services following a surge in demand for internet connectivity across the Philippines.
Triggered by Covid-19 and ongoing lockdown measures, the telecommunications provider has adjusted work processes to bolster network bandwidth levels, in addition to re-opening physical stores nationwide.
“As an integrated telco, we work hard to remain customer-focused across our various business segments - from mobile to fixed to enterprise,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, chief revenue officer of PLDT and CEO of Smart.
“We proliferate not just our last mile capabilities, but also our backhaul network to ensure the best customer experience. And I am very happy to share that for the first time in a long time, all business segments are growing simultaneously."
Despite being impacted by pandemic restrictions, Panlilio outlined that when quarantine measures “eased up”, internal manpower once again began to increase through increased commitment to digital delivery services.
“Our goal is to keep on challenging how we work so we continue to improve in finding ways to make things easier and more simple for our customers,” outlined Marco Borlongan, vice president and head of Commercial Operations at PLDT-Smart. “Our direction is to go digital - thus the drive to enable our customers to do more online: get their bills, pay their bills, get help. This is also a needed shift given the global situation today where customers must stay safe in their homes.”
With the country now operating at general community quarantine level, Borlongan said the business has “slowly reinstated” frontline employees such as network field teams to fulfil rising installation and repeat requests.
“Our call centre is now back to serving customers 24 hours a day for repair-related concerns,” he added.
Meanwhile, PLDT’s network service teams have also been “steadily ramping” up installation capacity to meet growing customer demands. By the end of August 2020, available capacity increased by eight per cent to 3.78 million ports, with the provider’s fibre infrastructure expanding to 382,500km, up 19 per cent from the end of 2019.
“Most definitely, the foundations that strongly fuel our engines remain - the best network and being the only integrated telco in the country,” Panlilio explained. “To serve the broadband needs of all Filipinos, PLDT-Smart leads the way in technology integration by offering all types of broadband technologies that cater to any market segment.”
Delving deeper, and in response to heightened demand for digital connectivity, Panlilio said PLDT has also increased capital expenditures to P70 billion for 2020, on top of the P260 billion total CAPEX investment during the past five years.
Specifically, investments span different components of the digital infrastructure ecosystem, including ongoing modernisation programs for PLDT’s overseas cable systems and its domestic fibre network, alongside ePLDT’s network of data centres.