PLDT nears capacity limits, eyes more data centers

PLDT, Inc. will be building more data centers in the Philippines, including one in Davao City, as the group is now approaching capacity limits, its chairman said.

“We have given effectively license to the enterprise side of PLDT to go ahead, because, actually, we are approaching capacity limits of our data centers. We have to build more. In today’s board, we told them to go ahead and expand,” PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in an ambush interview on May 5.

“Build and it will come. That was the mantra this morning to them. Go ahead and build. [We need] several more,” he added.

The company recently broke ground for its 11th data center project in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, with the goal of positioning the Philippines as Asia-Pacific’s next digital hub and destination.

Through its existing data centers, PLDT has been serving the requirements of some global technology companies.

Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData has said that global hyperscalers, or the massive international companies that dominate the cloud service sector, may need facilities in the country because “local hosting” is a “key requirement” to address the “strong demand” for cloud services.

More Philippine businesses plan to transfer workloads to the cloud, boosting the country’s cloud market to $2.8 billion by 2025 from $1.8 billion in 2020, it said in a statement.

To support its updated requirements for residential broadband and data center businesses, the company has upped its capital expenditure (capex) guidance for the year to P85 billion from P76-80 billion.

PLDT Chief Finance Officer Anabelle L. Chua said at a press briefing last week that the capex will also support upgrades of the towers and their passive infrastructure assets.

The company saw its first-quarter attributable net income increase by 56% to P9.1 billion from P5.8 billion in the same period a year ago.

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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