Globe Telecom plans to make ‘substantial investments’ in wireless broadband technology to develop its existing, mainly 3G mobile networks, reports the Philippine Star citing the company’s president and chief executive Gerado Ablaza. The Globe CEO says his firm is moving towards the deployment of WiMAX 802.16e later this year, and plans to be the first telco in the country to offer WiMAX commercially. Ablaza says that Globe has already completed technical trials for the technology. ‘We are now looking at different vendor alternatives and possibly start offering it commercially later this year,’ he said, adding that WiMAX would be used primarily as a broadband data delivery platform, rather than for mobile or voice. Ablaza went on to say that WiMAX would be used to provide coverage in provincial areas, noting: ‘It is not intended to replace 3G for wireless broadband but to complement it.’ Globe hopes to double its broadband base in 2008 and sees wireless technologies as key to achieving this goal. At the end of March this year Globe’s broadband subscriber base totaled 129,000, of which 86% were accessing the web via xDSL, with the remainder on wireless.