Albert de Larrazabal, the chief financial officer of Filipino telco Globe Telecom, says the group will invest a total of USD640 million this year and in 2013, as part of its USD790 CAPEX spend for the next five-year period. In an interview with Telecom Lead Asia, de Larrazabal said the operator is embarking on a major expansion of its networks and services to tackle the challenges ahead in a competitive domestic mobile market. The CFO said that Globe currently has 12,714 base transceiver stations (BTS) and 7,060 cell sites across the Philippines to support its 2G, 3G, 4G and WiMAX services. As part of the future-proofing of its network, the provider is preparing itself to cater for an anticipated increase in voice and SMS traffic and a sharp rise in mobile data traffic. Globe is currently deploying HSPA+ technology in select areas in the country, with de Larrazabal saying that ‘the bulk of the pre-work required to set-up the end-to-end network modernisation has been completed’. The CFO also reports that Globe is also deploying its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G equipment in the nation’s capital.