Globe Telecom’s recent investments in infrastructure and network upgrades, as well as moves to acquire equity interest in Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (Bayantel) have positioned the company for a strong performance this year.
“Our ongoing network transformation program, coupled with the Bayantel tender offer and our intention to bid for the 10MHz 3G frequency held by CURE, give us more than enough prospects to remain a formidable player in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu.
Globe is in the midst of a US$700 million network modernization program that is meant to increase network capacity and resiliency and to accommodate more voice, SMS, and data traffic. The first phase of the network upgrade is on track with 88% completion in various cell sites all over the country. “Significant quality improvements are already being realized across all regions as well as business districts,” said Cu. “We’re working to deliver a superior customer experience to our subscribers,” he added.
As a strategic initiative to ensure long-term business competitiveness, Globe and Bayantel also obtained approval from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for joint-use of the frequencies in the 1800 MHz band assigned to Bayantel. This would help Globe address the increasing demand for voice, short message and mobile data services.
Last December, Globe successfully completed a tender offer acquiring over 96% of all existing and outstanding debt of Bayantel and its subsidiary RCPI as part of its efforts to acquire a significant share in the Lopez-owned company. Globe also announced that it had commenced separate discussions with controlling shareholders of Bayantel which includes Globe’s plans to potentially acquire an equity interest in Bayantel.
On its own, Bayantel continued to improve its financial bottom line as it recently disclosed an 8 percent rise in core revenues to P5.22 billion in 2012. This was a result of a substantial growth in its data and voice businesses.
Globe also plans to join the bid for CURE’s 3G spectrum, which PLDT was ordered to surrender in compliance with the NTC’s conditions when it approved the PLDT-Digitel merger in 2011. NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba recently announced that they had already finished the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the CURE bid, and are in the process of determining the Cost Recovery Amount (CRA) through independent auditors.
“These investments and plans are all made with the customer in mind,” said Cu. “We’re well on our way to future-proofing our network in anticipation of the further growth of mobile data use, he said further.
Globe recently announced that it closed 2012 with consolidated service revenues at an all-time high of P82.7 billion, 6% higher than the previous year. This was achieved despite the escalating competitive environment. Revenue expansion was supported by an overall increase in subscriber base as well as improvements across key product segments.