GLOBE Telecom Inc. said it will spend up to P9 billion of the P10 billion in proceeds it raised from the issuance of non-voting preferred shares for the rollout of its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in the country.
The Ayala-led telco listed 20 million non-voting preferred shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.
“The bulk of what we raised today will be spent for the LTE rollout. We’ve completed pretty much our 3G rollout. By and large it’s done. We announced the 100 percent coverage in the country for our 3G,” Ernest Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe, said during a press briefing on Friday.
Asked how much they planned to spend for the LTE rollout, he said: “Pretty much 80 percent to 90 percent” of the P10 billion raised.
Globe Telecom’s board appointed BPl Capital Corp. as issue manager for the transaction.
In October last year, Globe said it has activated LTE and high speed packet access plus (HSPA+) to more sites across the country and that its rollout of 4G infrastructure was on course with its commitment “to provide the fastest speed on the world’s best mobile phones and gadgets.”
“For LTE, I believe we are at about the very early stages 20 percent to 25 percent [nationwide]but 100 percent if you look at Metro Manila,” Cu said.
He said the expansion of Globe’s LTE network, also known as 4G broadband, will be contingent with the growth of LTE-enabled smartphones, which is still on the low side at the moment.
“If smartphone penetration is 34 percent right now, the penetration for LTE would be single-digit right now,” he said.