Globe not impressed by PLDT's claim of '5G network'

by Warren de Guzman, ANC

Posted at Aug 22 2014 03:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2014 08:45 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) -- Globe Telecom isn't intimidated by the recent milestones of competitor and industry leader PLDT, including its near $450 million investment in German e-commerce company Rocket Internet, and the launch of its so called "5G" or LTE Advanced network.

It isn't impressed either.

Globe president Ernest Cu said Globe isn't looking to invest in e-commerce.

"We don't believe in investing in those companies. We believe in being the relevant telecom in the country so that those companies will come to us. We are partners with Facebook, Android and Spotify, we didn't spend anything for that to happen," Cu said.

Globe chief financial officer Albert de Larrazabal said there is no competition in e-commerce because Globe and PLDT are responsible for developing the infrastructure to make e-commerce possible.

De Larrazabal even noted that one of the e-commerce platforms that PLDT now partly owns, Zalora, was enabled through a Globe program called Kickstart.

"I think what you will see t is a small community and we both have to develop the infra," he said.

The 5G launch of PLDT also got a cold reception from Globe.

De Larrazabal said the "5G" label could be misleading.

"The standards for 5G have not been set by the GSMA. It will be forthcoming. It's probably a variant of LTE technologies. 3G had several levels of maturity over the years, and that's happening with LTE as well," he said.

But Mon Isberto, head of public affairs at PLDT, isn't budging.

He said PLDT's LTE Advanced network is referred to as 5G in other markets like the US, stressing that it is better than LTE.

"LTE-A is capable of much higher data speeds than LTE and will address requirements for higher data throughputs. As for the extent of our LTE rollout, we are deploying LTE as part of a suite of services. The PLDT Group's approach to use different technology platforms to address different needs. That is why we are deploying fixed technologies like fiber to homes and buildings, fixed LTE services and DSL alongside mobile broadband running on 3G/HSPA and mobile LTE and LTE-A," Isberto said.

Cu and de Larrazabal were at the PSE for the listing of P10 billion in preferred shares, their first share sale since 2001.

The funds will go to Globe's roll out of its own LTE network, which Cu says still has a ways to go Nationwide.

Globe shares traded at all-time highs in Friday trade, breaching the P2,000 per share level.