PLDT bets on Mindanao’s sunny outlook

Chrisee Dela Paz
PLDT bets on Mindanao’s sunny outlook
Although demand for big data in Mindanao isn't that strong yet, PLDT says the future seems bright 'given the change in leadership'

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest phone carrier, PLDT Incorporated, plans to set up a landing station and a data center in Mindanao, as it bets on the sunny economic outlook of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, Davao City.

“We are considering a landing station and a small data center in Mindanao to complement our expansion of a bigger data center in Cebu,” said Eric Alberto, executive vice-president and head of enterprise at PLDT and Smart Communications, on the sidelines of an event in Pasay City on Monday, June 20.

Although the volume of demand in Mindanao “is not that big yet,” Alberto said his company expects a boom in the next couple of years, given Duterte’s promise to promote economic development outside Metro Manila. (READ: Philippine economy ready for any president)

The PLDT executive said his company is doing explorations in Mindanao “to improve diversity.”

“That (data center) is a small one because we don’t see as much volume of demand yet for Mindanao; but clearly, there will be a market that would have a preference for diversity being hosted in that part of the country,” Alberto told reporters.

A data center is a facility used for storing computer systems and other components, like telecommunications and storage systems.

Although Alberto did not give details of investments in Mindanao, he said a data center with 3,600-rack capacity would cost P3 billion. (READ: PLDT, Globe sign IP peering after 6 years)

PLDT currently operates 6 data centers. These are located in Sucat, Parañaque; Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; Pasig; Subic; Mandaue City, Cebu; and Makati City.

Alberto said PLDT is setting up its 7th data center in Makati, and its 8th in Clark, Pampanga.

“This will bring our total capacity to over 8,000 racks from just 3,300 at present,” Alberto said.

“After that, we’ll put up one in Davao and another in Cebu.”

Mindanao’s sunny outlook

Duterte served as mayor, vice mayor, and congressman of Davao City for 3 decades. He has had his share of controversies stemming from his iron-fist approach to criminality, including alleged links to the Davao Death Squad. 

These controversies, however, do not scare PLDT.

“We made a deliberate position to really put a bet on such investments, which today is proving to be a right decision, as it augurs well to our aspiration to be the most trusted digital enabler in this country,” Alberto said.

PLDT earlier said it will put up more cell sites in Davao and Cebu this year using the 700 megahertz (MHz) frequency obtained from San Miguel Corporation.

In June 2015, PLDT expanded its presence in the southern Philippines with the completion of its acquisition of Metro Kidapawan Telephone Corporation.

The move was aimed at capturing 75% market share of the fixed line business in Mindanao.

“Mindanao at large is not that big. But given the change in leadership, that might change, right?” Alberto said. –

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