Ayala-led Globe Telecom expects its capital expenditure budget to reach approximately USD750 million in FY2017, as it focuses on further strengthening and expanding its data networks across the country. In a recent press interview Globe President and CEO Ernest L. Cu said: ‘Internally, we generated cash flow but we borrowed some money last year for the higher than usual CAPEX. I think we are okay this year already. We are trying to look at [trimming our capital expenditure] because you have to balance everything out, right? Your revenues, EBITDA, margins, cash generation, CAPEX – all of that has got to be balanced.’ In FY2016 Globe spent around USD1 billion – ostensibly to bolster its mobile rollout – hitting a figure of 500 LTE-700 sites and 900 LTE-2600 sites deployed by end-2016, aided by a decision in October to approve an additional USD300 million CAPEX to be invested in its network expansion, raising its full year allocation from the USD750 million figure initially set.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month Globe – the Philippines’ second largest telecoms group – is planning to raise PHP20 billion (USD404.1 million) from the debt market to fund the aggressive expansion programme. The operator is gearing up its 4G LTE rollout, aided by the acquisition of additional frequencies from San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in May last year. Having kicked off the deployment of LTE-700 equipment in June 2016, Globe is now also using blocks of 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz spectrum also acquired under the deal.