Globe unfazed by Smart’s rollout of 4.5G service

Globe Telecom Inc. on Wednesday shrugged off rival Smart Communications Inc.’s deployment of 4.5G mobile service, the latest technology in mobile communications with better speed.

“We don’t want to launch something that is a promise or if it’s a promise, we actually give a timeline as to when to deliver that  promise. The problem is that we don’t have the timeline from handset suppliers in terms of pricing,” Globe acting chief finance officer Rosemarie Maniego-Eala told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders meeting. 

Eala’s statement came after Smart announced the rollout of the country’s first long-term evolution-advanced  or 4.5G service, which could provide significantly higher data speed than existing LTE services using a capability called “carrier aggregation.”

Initially deployed in the resort island of Boracay, Smart’s LTE-A service posted speeds of up to 260 megabits per second.

Eala said only one or two mobile phone brands could currently support LTE-Advanced from a customer point of view.  Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and LG G3 LTE-A support LTE Advanced band.

“When we introduce the technology, but there’s not handsets to support [it], then how can the customers benefit from it?,” she said. 

“Being able to announce and look at new technology is easy, but executing and making sure it is relevant and actually generates revenue is the harder problem,” Eala said.

Eala said the company’s plan was to expand its network  by building more cell sites nationwide. 

“Our budget for this year is $750 million and will continue to enhance our mobile, supporting the data growth.  As you know 40 percent of our revenue are already in data. Globe’s market share for mobile data stood at 70 percent,” she said.

Globe saw its net income jump 23 percent in 2015 to P16.5 billion from P13.4 billion it booked in 2014.

The growth in profit was supported by one-time gains coming from the sale of a 51-percent equity stake in Yondu Inc. and the acquisition of a 98.6-percent stake in Bayan Telecommunications Inc. 

Globe’s core net income, which excludes the impact of non-recurring charges, including one-time gains and accelerated depreciation charges, foreign exchange and mark-to-market charges, also grew 4 percent to P15.1 billion from P14.5 billion in 2014. 

Excluding Bayan’s results, Globe’s net income and core net income jumped 22 percent and 5 percent, respectively from 2014, the company said.

Globe said it recorded consolidated service revenues of P113.7 billion last year, or 15 percent higher than the previous record of P99 billion in 2014.

Topics: Globe Telecom Inc. , Smart Communications Inc. , 4.5G service , long-term evolution-advanced , LTE-A
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