MANILA - Globe Telecom’s additional network investments will be used mainly to amplify benefits of the telecommunication operator’s new spectrum assets to further enhance its mobile services particularly for data.
The company recently announced an additional capital spend of $300 million for the year in an effort to continuously improve mobile data services. More than half of the additional capital expenditures or $160 million will be devoted to deploying cell sites using the 700 megahertz spectrum as well as additional spectrum in the 2600 MHz band, said Globe Chief Information and Technology Officer Gil Genio.
This year alone, the company has allotted around $400-$500 million in investments for mobile. The company expects to do more in the future, said Genio, speaking at the 1st DICT Summit in the country.
He said the company is targeting to roll out additional 700 sites for LTE 700 MHz in major cities in the country including Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao. So far, the company has around 260 LTE 700 MHz sites. The company also plans to deploy close to 2,700 sites for LTE 2600 band. Additional core and transport upgrades will also be undertaken, Genio said.
In addition to investments for mobile, Globe is also aggressively ramping up investments for its corporate data network with additional investment of $50 million, and for home broadband deployment with $90 million more capex.
During the conference, Genio also reiterated the need for the rationalization of permitting process for the establishments of cell sites. He revealed that Globe has a backlog of 3000 sites amid difficulties in securing permits from various local government units, homeowners associations, and other government agencies. This is in light of the 4,500 sites committed by Globe to the NTC as part of a 3-year rollout plan as it acquired new telco assets from the SMC sellout.
“We need to dramatically improve cell site coverage in the Philippines,” Genio emphasized, noting that the country only has about 21,000 total cell sites compared about 55,000 in Vietnam. According to Genio, Globe is able to put up 400 to 500 towers every year, or half of its target of 1,000 sites due to permitting challenges.