The Philippines’ second largest communications provider by subscribers and revenue, Globe Telecom, is seeking board approval to secure an additional investment of up to USD300 million this year to expand its networks to meet rising demand for high speed internet services. The move, which would boost its total CAPEX for the year to USD1 billion, comes as the carrier seeks to match its bigger rival PLST Inc.’s capital expenditure programme for the year. Globe originally allocated USD750 million in FY2016 – USD350 million was spent in 1H16 – and, having secured access to San Miguel Corp’s (SMC’s) former mobile frequencies, it is raising its spend to deploy services nationwide using the acquired spectrum in the 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands. Globe chief commercial officer Alberto de Larrazabal told Malaya Business Insight: ‘For this year, we have authority to spend over a billion dollars. It will be [spent over] the balance of the year.’
Globe has submitted a three-year rollout plan to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as part of which it will extend voice, text messaging and data services to 95% of municipalities and cities by the end of 2018 using the additional spectrum from SMC. The deployment schedule forms a key tenet of the terms and conditions imposed on it by the NTC to co-use the former SMC frequencies along with PLDT. By end-2016 Globe expects 30% of its roughly 2,200 cell sites to have been upgraded under the plan, with LTE sites deployed in densely populated parts such as
Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.