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More investments needed to upgrade PH internet services – ConvergeBy: Sheilah Takeuchi | 12 Oct 2020
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) — Upgrading internet speeds in the country is a tall order, the founder of Converge ICT Solutions admitted Friday as he vowed to keep improving his network’s services.
Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Exchange, Converge chief executive officer Dennis Anthony Uy said there are a number of hurdles in the way of faster and more reliable connections.
“A lot of factors play here. First, we need to upgrade our infrastructure, whether for mobile or wired internet. Other players are focused in mobile connectivity, and you need to keep on upgrading,” Uy said, adding that there’s a need to continuously upgrade technology to catch up with neighboring countries.
“Overall, only 6 percent (are covered by) high-speed broadband, which is fiber. We need to upgrade and modernize access networks, we need to upgrade our domestic backbone to increase capacity — but they are all capital intensive and time-consuming,” he added, noting that old DSL (digital subscriber line) connections are still widely used in the Philippines.
Converge provides high-speed connectivity to over 730,000 homes as of June, with plans to expand their service area nationwide. The startup founded by Uy in Pampanga has been in the market offering connections via fiber optics since 2012, and they ready for more.
Converge plans to go public in October, where it is set to raise ₱35.9 billion by offering shares priced ₱24 each. The firm earlier reported ₱9.14 billion revenues in 2019.
Among the stumbling blocks in the Philippines are a low cell site penetration, limited and dated telecommunications infrastructure, and geographical constraints with over 7,000 islands up for connection, Uy said.
Meanwhile, the company executive added that they are doing what they can to resolve reported poor customer service, saying Converge is fast-tracking processes and enhancing support channels through the hiring of call center and installation workers.
Converge earlier claimed that it is the biggest high-speed fixed broadband operator in the country, taking a 54 percent share in subscriptions for high-speed residential connections. Through fiber optic rather than copper cables, Converge said its broadband deals offer speeds which are 2.2 times faster than that offered by competitors.
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