Globe Telecom will continue to ramp up the deployment of the 700 megahertz (MHz) band with a target to increase the utilization of the spectrum by more than 300%, in support of its bid to improve the internet experience of its customers.
Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu said the company plans to roll out within the year the LTE 700 in close to 1,800 sites, a more than three-fold increase from the 500 sites that it was able to deploy last year. “We continue to maximize the use of the previously unutilized 700 MHz because at the end of the day, our basic product is still the network. Globe has consistently delivered superior mobile services and as the country’s network of choice by smartphone users, we want to be able to stay ahead of the demand curve, taking into account our customers’ growing requirement for bandwidth-intensive content,” said Cu.
The plan is also in fulfillment of its target of providing mobile coverage to about 95% of cities and municipalities in the country within a 3-year period, as committed to the National Telecommunications Commission, explained Cu.
In addition to the LTE 700 sites, Globe is also expanding coverage and increasing capacities for 1000 sites using the 2600 MHz band. Globe gained access to the 700 MHz and obtained additional allocation in the 2600 MHz following a partial acquisition of San Miguel’s telecommunication assets. Prior to the acquisition, such spectrum assets were idle and unutilized.
According to Cu, the new LTE 700 MHz and LTE 2600 MHz sites will be deployed in densely populated areas, mainly in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, where majority of customers using LTE-compatible devices are located. Globe began the deployment of LTE sites using the 700 MHz band in June following a partial acquisition of San Miguel’s telecommunication assets, which also included spectrum resources in the 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2600 MHz.
In line with its commitment to improve the internet state in the country, Globe also plans to deploy 425,000 high-speed broadband bands within 2017 in line with target of rolling out 2 million home broadband lines with speed of at least 10 Mbps by 2020. This is also in support of its commitment to improve fixed internet in the country. To date, over 260,000 home broadband lines have already been deployed. Progressive roll outs will be done within the next 3 years until 2020 to serve at least 2 million homes.
Globe also deployed free WiFi services in 500 major areas of convergence that include airports, bus terminals, Ayala Malls, Starbucks chains, convenience stores, and MRT and LRT stations, Cu added.
However, the company’s aggressive bid to expand its telecommunication infrastructure is being hampered by circuitous permitting process for the establishment of telecommunication infrastructure such as cell sites. For instance, Globe has a backlog of around 3000 sites amid difficulties in securing permits from various local government units, homeowner associations, and other government agencies.