TAGUIG CITY, Philippines — The Ayala-led telecommunications services provider Globe Telecom Incorporated is open for partnership with business rival PLDT Incorporated for the proposed independent firm that would build and deploy cellular towers across the country.
“We’ve always been open to sharing. We are not into that – exclusivity. We like the open market. We think it benefits both of us. The cost [of deploying more cellular towers] will be lower,” Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu told in an interview with the press on the sidelines of a media briefing in Taguig City on Monday, May 7.
Manny V. Pangilinan-led PLDT were asked for comment but the officials of the aforementioned telecommunications and Internet service provider (ISP) could not be reached as of writing.
Back in February 2018 Globe has initiated negotiations with independent companies to outsource the construction of cellular towers in the country, in an attempt to speed up the process.
Cu claimed that this move would notably reduce the time needed for a new and third telco player to launch in the country, given that the 25 permits and up to 8 months required to build just a single cellular tower.
“For the past two years, our CEO has been trying to convince our competitor to have a tower sharing venture for future builds to save on capital expenditures because today our towers are quite duplicative so where we have a tower, they have a tower and vice versa,” Globe CFO Rizza Maniego-Eala said.
Globe has already spent around P6.6 billion in capital expenditures (capex) in the 1st quarter of 2018 to support the growing subscriber base and its demand for data bandwidth.
Of the total capex spent in the said period of this year, Cu said about 64 percent was for the data service needs of its patrons. To date, the company has a total of 38,963 cell towers, with over 25,600 base stations for 4G LTE.
Meanwhile, the profits of Globe Telecom Inc. upped by nearly fifth during first quarter of 2018, thanks to the stable increase in mobile-data usage in the country.
In a filing with the Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE), Globe stated that its network income skyrocketed to P4.5 billion in the first quarter of the year, an 18-percent up compared from P3.8 billion in 2017.
Globe’s consolidated-service revenues recorded P33.2 billion from P31.1 billion, while capital expenditures rises to P20.6 billion from P19.6 billion.
“Service revenues benefited from the demand for data-related products across all segments, given the increase in consumption for video streaming and on-demand entertainment,” the filing read.
Globe Telecom’s mobile-subscriber base passed 63.3 million as of the end of March 2018, an 8 percent increase from the 58.6 million subscribers in the same quarter of 2017.
The telco has spent around P6.6 billion in capex in the first three months of the year to support the growing subscriber and its constant demand for data.
Globe expects to allocate around $850 million to $900 million each year until 2020 as capital spending budget, in an effort to continuously upgrade its network for the fast-growing ISP business. — Centrio News.