Globe Telecom, the Philippines’ second largest telecommunications provider by subscribers, is setting aside the ‘majority’ of its capital investment programme for this year for boosting its fibre-optic coverage and capacity in 20,000 barangays (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines), to deliver high speed internet to two million homes by 2020. According to the firm’s president and CEO Ernest Cu: ‘Data access is one of the important drivers of economic competitiveness and growth. We need to create an internet superhighway and provide ultra-fast internet connection that will enable growth in every corner of our country’. Over the course of the five-year plan, Ayala-led Globe intends to bolster fibre capacity to support both fixed and wireless technologies – such as 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi – including replacing legacy copper wire facilities in many areas. In total, the telco has set aside USD750 million to further develop its fixed and mobile infrastructure and has already secured bank loans worth around PHP10 billion (USD210.7 million) to help fund this year’s CAPEX outlay.
Globe Telecom reported record turnover, EBITDA and net income for the year ending 31 December 2015, with consolidated service revenues up 15% year-on-year to PHP113.7 billion. Fourth-quarter sales peaked at a record high of PHP30.3 billion, up 3% quarter-on-quarter, driven by strong subscriber growth – in particular in data-based services across all areas of the business – and the consolidation of Bayan Telecommunications’ (Bayan’s) performance in H2. Even stripping out the contribution from its Bayan unit, Globe said consolidated service revenue climbed 12% y-o-y to PHP110.8 billion, with mobile revenues up 9% on an annualised basis to PHP85.1 billion.