Filipino wireless telecoms operator Globe Telecom yesterday announced it is changing its strategic focus away from its core business and towards the development of wireline-based broadband platforms, to take advantage of the booming high speed internet market in an increasingly integrated communications industry. In an interview, the company’s president and CEO, Gerardo Ablaza Jr, said that while his firm had operated as a mainly ‘telecoms’ player for the last 15 year, he was now examining ‘new opportunities’ including plans to increase investments in cable and wireline systems to bolster Globe’s broadband internet infrastructure. Ablaza believes wireline broadband offers the company a more stable and faster connectivity option than satellite. Industry watchers have been quick to suggest that the CEO’s comments mark the company’s intention to take on the country’s dominant operator in the broadband market, Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT).
Ablaza says Globe plans to invest USD350 million in capital expenditure this year, and more than half is being set aside for broadband infrastructure projects. ‘We intend to be at the forefront of this opportunity, harnessing the capabilities of both wired and wireless broadband technologies to make the Internet available and relevant to all,’ he said. Globe earlier disclosed plan to invest USD190 million in 2007 on high speed internet platforms, especially in new growth areas such as 3G, DSL and high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA). USD45 million is being invested in 3G in 2007, on top of the USD65 million spent last year.