19 Aug 2009
Bayan Telecommunications Inc (BayanTel) of the Philippines said it halved its net losses for first half of 2009 on an annualised basis, on the back of strong revenue growth. The operator’s chief executive consultant Tunde Fafunwa said that consolidated net losses narrowed by 66% to PHP533.8 million (USD11.01 million), compared to PHP1.57 billion in the first half of 2008. Turnover climbed 8% over the same period from PHP3.07 billion to PHP3.32 billion, while EBITDA jumped 38% from PHP987 million to PHP1.36 billion. Fafunwa said he expects the trend to continue into the second half of the year with ‘continuous moderate’ growth. BayanTel, which is controlled by the Lopez Group, has set aside PHP1.3 billion for CAPEX in 2H09, and is looking for growth in its DSL broadband and wireline businesses. Its subscriber base continues to grow, reaching 500,000 as at 30 June 2009.
In a separate story, BayanTel has asked the regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), to act swiftly on its application for additional wireless broadband frequencies which has been pending before the agency since 2007. Tunde Fafunwa says the additional frequencies in the 2.3GHz band will allow it to expand operations. BayanTel is asking for an additional 25MHz of spectrum as it was originally awarded just 5MHz – not enough to expand its services. ‘We feel very strongly that we have not been given the parity or fair approach which we believe the NTC itself is trying to correct now,’ Fafunwa said. The NTC earlier proposed to reallocate the frequency bandwidth 1710MHz-1720MHz/1805MHZ-1815MHz from wireless in the local loop (WiLL) to broadband wireless access services.