Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom has announced plans to launch its fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) network in the Philippines next month, marking a significant change in strategy for the firm which previously adopted a wait and see approach to the ultra-high speed mobile technology. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said that with its USD700 million network upgrade programme entering the final phase, the carrier plans to go live with LTE in key commercial and residential areas in Makati City. Starting in September it will make its 4G LTE service available through its Tattoo broadband service, before expanding to mobile customers by the fourth quarter. Globe’s sudden interest in LTE comes as it faces intense competition from larger rival Smart Communications for its mobile customers. The PLDT-owned carrier has made hay from Globe’s ongoing issues with network congestion – to be resolved by the upgrade – and in particular, erratic broadband data connection speeds. Globe Telecom claims that it has already deployed 2,700 4G base stations across the country.