Globe says service changes seen by Q3

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jun 06 2012 07:26 AM | Updated as of Jun 07 2012 01:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Globe Telecom Inc. expects its subscribers in Metro Manila will be able to experience service improvements by the third quarter such as quick and reliable call connections, instantaneous text messaging, blazing fast Internet browsing, and proactive intelligent spot-on customer support.

The cellular firm is undertaking a massive $700-million network modernization program. “We still have to get the momentum going so by the third quarter we will start feeling improvements already. It has started in the Visayas and other places,” said Globe Chief Financial Officer Alberto de Larrazabal.

He added that more service offerings will be offered as soon as the modernization program is fully implemented.

One such offering allows prepaid subscribers to retain their mobile phone numbers even if they shift to postpaid subscription.

“We can do it on our own network as part of the modernization efforts and system design,” he said.

At end-March, Globe recorded over 31 million subscribers, up 14 percent and 3 percent above the user base reported last year and last quarter, respectively. Postpaid subscriber clients total 1.5 million.

Globe is future-proofing its network and modernizing thousands of its cell sites across the country to cater to the emerging mobile data traffic being caused by the growing number of smart phones.

For instance, Globe will be rolling out 10,000 kilometers of fiber optic in the implementation of Long Term Evolution technology that will bring high-speed data to mobile phones and other data terminals. The company is also working on creating best-of-breed responsive IT systems throughout the country.

“With this endeavor, we aspire to be the truly service-centric company that Filipinos come to love and loyally patronize. Altogether, we fervently believe that through our comprehensive transformation to serve customers better, Globe is advantageously positioned to become the most preferred brand among telecommunication service providers,” said Globe President Ernest Cu in a statement yesterday.

Proceeds of the recent P10-billion retail bond issuance of Globe will be used to partially fund the multi-million project.

“The ultimate purpose of this offer is for Globe to create the happiest customers and the happiest employees. Globe is yet one step closer to making our superior customer experience proposition a palpable and pervasive reality,” Cu said.

On June 1, Globe officially traded P10 billion bonds in the organized market via the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. It has two tranches which promise future formidable returns of 5.75 percent per annum over five years and 6 percent per annum over seven years.

The bond issue obtained a rating of PRS Aaa from Philippine Rating Services Corp., representing the highest rating available with the smallest degree of investment risk.

“This P10-billion bond offer is undoubtedly a great investment opportunity. We expect the investment community to aggressively seize the opportunity to benefit from it. I understand that we are already oversubscribed at this point in time,” Cu said.

Joint lead underwriters and bookrunners for the bonds are BPI Capital Corp., BDO Capital and Investment Corp., HSBC Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp.Co-managers are China Banking Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Commercial Capital Inc., and SB Capital Investment Corp.