Court of Appeals backs Globe-Bayan frequency sharing deal; Globe to invest around USD300m in LTE in 2015

12 Nov 2014

Globe Telecom has announced that the Philippines Special Former 12th Division of the Court of Appeals has affirmed a long-standing joint frequency use agreement between the Ayala Corp-backed mobile operator and Bayan Telecommunications, its would-be subsidiary, dismissing a motion filed by PLDT’s Smart Communications unit. Back in September 2012 the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved the joint use of 1800MHz frequencies between the two companies, only for Smart to try to disrupt the arrangement. Globe quotes the Court of Appeals judge as saying: ‘Smart has the burden of proof to show the joint use of frequencies is enjoined by law or against national interest. In this Smart has miserably failed.’

TeleGeography notes that the decision arguably bodes well for Globe’s ongoing takeover of Bayan; in November 2013 Globe submitted a request to the NTC seeking approval for its plan to take control of its debt-wracked rival. The first phase of the transaction was completed in October 2013, after Bayan issued common shares equivalent to 39% of the company to Globe and its senior creditors. However, the watchdog has dragged its heels after pressure from a number of key Filipino players, most notably PLDT.

Meanwhile, in other news, Globe Telecom has allotted around 50% of its planned CAPEX for 2015 to improve its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Company officials told reporters that the company intends to spend USD615 million in 2015, half of which will be used to improve LTE coverage.