PLDT eyes 10 more Internet investments
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Corporation (PLDT) has identified several investment opportunities as part of its digital strategy.
“With regard to Internet investments, we’ve invested in Rocket Internet and in iFlix, so far. We have a healthy pipeline of internet investment opportunities and we intend to keep that list long and healthy,” he said.
Pangilinan also hinted that the investments would come soon, given the pace of the digital economy. “I think the decision to invest needs a short time frame, in other words you have to make a quick decision because the world of the internet does not wait for anybody. It moves quickly so you have a few weeks to decide,” he added.
“Clearly any telco has got to engage the Internet now. They cannot not participate in the Internet space beyond providing the connectivity or access. So we’ve determined that we will participate and engage the Internet,” he added.
PLDT invested P19.6 billion ($442.9 million) for a 10% stake in Rocket Internet in August last year, which has since been diluted to 6.4% following Rocket Internet's Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Rocket provides a platform for the rapid creation and scaling of consumer internet businesses outside the US. and China.
Rocket’s most prominent brands include the leading Southeast Asian e-Commerce businesses Zalora and Lazada, as well as fast growing brands with strong positions in their markets such as Dafiti, Linio, Jumia, Namshi, Lamoda, Jabong, Westwing, Home24 and HelloFresh in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Russia, India and Europe.
Just last month, PLDT infused $15 million (P 666.8 million) into Southeast Asia’s leading internet TV service iflix to make available top TV shows and movies to 600 million consumers in the region.
The service will offer consumers in key Southeast Asian markets including the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam more than 10,000 hours of top US, Asian regional, and local TV shows and movies starting this year.
Pangilinan also said that PLDT would partner with over-the-top (OTT) players, invest in them, and develop its own apps and solutions.
PLDT has established strong, strategic relationships with Internet.org, Skype, Facebook, Google, Uber as well as Visa and Mastercard.
The PLDT chairman pointed out that the PLDT group has also developed and launched its own apps such as Safezone and the traffic navigator of Interaskyon, among others.
He said the PLDT Group has invested about P30 billion ($674.5 million) annually over the last 10 years to enhance its network including internet, fiber optic, high bandwidth Ethernet nodes, 3G and 4G (LTE) enabled cell sites, cable landing stations, international cable systems, and international points of presence.
He added that the group has also invested more than P26 billion ($584.5 million) in digital infrastructure, platforms, and capabilities. – Rappler.com
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