Ayala-owned Filipino operator Globe Telecom today announced it is upping its 2011 CAPEX by 16% from USD430 million to USD500 million, as it builds out its broadband network and looks to fight off competition. Globe chief financial officer Albert De Larrazabal said: ‘There was almost a carry-over of USD70 million from last year because actual spending was at USD430 million. The mix as to where the CAPEX allocation goes will be different this year’. According to De Larrazabal, of the total for this year USD180 million will go to the expansion of the group’s 3G mobile broadband network, USD160 million for 2G mobile upgrade/expansion, USD90 million for investments in cable facilities, USD30 million for corporate expenses and the remainder will be set aside for its enterprise unit Globe Business. As well as improving network quality and availability, De Larrazabal said that Globe will also work on strengthening its back-end systems and delivery platforms to support more ‘aggressive offers’ in the marketplace.
Globe had around 26.5 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2010, compared to 45.6 million for rival PLDT (i.e. Smart and Red Mobile) and third-placed Digitel (Sun Cellular) with 14 million. However, PLDT has moved to acquire Digitel in a deal worth about PHP74 billion, prompting monopoly concerns in the country and threatening the likes of Globe in the process. With the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) promising to review the proposed acquisition amid concerns about a possible monopoly situation emerging, Globe says it will stick to its strategy and ‘defend and grow [its] market share’.