Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Governance, Network Technical Group, said the company is looking to use the 700 MHz in more sites throughout the country, emphasizing that this particular spectrum is one of the most efficient bands in the deployment of LTE technology. Globe plans to fire up initial batch of around 200 cell sites in the next few months.
"The 700MHz band is the ideal spectrum for LTE deployment due to its longer reach and better indoor penetration qualities,” Agustin said. Globe Telecom is the first telecommunications company in the country to utilize the 700 MHz spectrum, undertaken less than a week following a joint acquisition of the telecommunication assets of San Miguel Corp. in late May.
The first 700 MHz site is located near Hardin ng Bougainvillea in UP Diliman, Quezon City, benefitting customers within a radius of 2.2 kilometers from the cell tower. According to Agustin, the other cell sites, equipped with the 700 MHz, are located in Quezon City and covering key locations such as Horseshoe Village, New Manila, Tomas Morato, G. Araneta Ave., Talayan Village, North Ave., Project 6, Mindanao Ave., Philam Subdivision, Trinoma and SM City, Culiat, New Era, Commonwealth Ave, Tandang Sora, Tierra Pura, Baranggay Holy Spirit, BF Quezon City, Mapayapa, Don Antonio, C.P. Garcia, Katipunan Avenue also covering Ateneo Miriam and Loyola Heights.
“We will continue to build more 700 MHz in Quezon City to further enhance our customers’ mobile internet experience. So far, the 700 MHz layer already account for about 20% of total LTE users in these locations and around 15% of total traffic volume. As we continue to expand our LTE 700 MHz coverage presence, we encourage customers to use LTE 700 MHz capable smartphone devices to obtain enhanced digital customer experience,” he said.
Agustin emphasized that utilization of the 700 MHz bodes well with the company’s capacity enhancement initiative amid burgeoning demand for bandwidth and growing customers’ propensity for multi-media content. Globe has set aside for 2016 a capital expenditure of $750 million, bulk of which will be used to boost data capacity and expand network reach. In addition, Globe also launched early this year an initiative of creating an internet superhighway by deploying fiber optic cables in 20,000 barangays all over the country to provide faster and more reliable Internet access in about 2 million homes nationwide. The infrastructure build is expected to take 5 years and will extend network coverage to more areas that currently have no connection or spotty service.
Last week, the company revealed that it also started utilizing the company's additional allocation in the 2600 MHz spectrum for 130 sites mostly in Visayas and Mindanao, providing customers in those regions with additional network capacities to support growing demand for bandwidth. The number of cell sites with activation of the new 2600MHz allocation will grow to more than 800 sites by the first week of July. The additional allocation in the 2600 MHz band is also among the assets acquired by Globe from San Miguel.