Globe Telecom submitted its 3-year coverage rollout plan to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and committed to provide mobile services, including voice, SMS and data, to 95% of municipalities and cities in the country by the end of 2018, using the additional spectrum it acquired from San Miguel.
The rollout plan is one of the conditions set by the NTC in approving the co-use agreement covering the spectrum resources that Globe acquired from the joint buy out of San Miguel Corp.’s telco assets.
In a letter, dated July 29, 2016, addressed to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said Globe started to implement the rollout plan in June and will be deploying about 4,500 multiband, multimode software defined radio base station equipment and capacity upgrades to improve overall customer experience in terms of speed and reliability of its mobile services.
Currently, Globe provides mobile broadband services across its entire network, having fully upgraded to 100% 4G network while more than 60% of its sites are now equipped with LTE for mobile broadband services, Castelo said. Just after two months of gaining access to the spectrum assets, Globe has already upgraded over 25 cell sites with LTE 700 megahertz and more than 600 cell sites with additional 2600 MHz spectrum and about 1,500 cell sites with additional 1800 MHz spectrum as part of the company’s commitment to improve mobile internet speeds within 1 year.
Castelo explained the 3-year coverage rollout plan took into consideration certain conditions that include priority areas with substantial existing demand and high traffic growth trends; key development areas to further promote the country’s overall economic development; maximum use of Globe assigned frequencies for the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz. By yearend, the company expects that about 2,200 of the company’s existing cell sites representing over 30% if its network nationwide would be upgraded using the additional spectrum from the co-use agreement, Castelo said.
“We would like to assure the commission that we are utilizing all available resources and doing all we can to improve the mobile experience of our customers. We are committed to pursue our aggressive mobile broadband coverage and capacity expansion programs in order to meet mobile data traffic growth and increasing demand for mobile connectivity. We are confident that our strategy of combining new site builds with efficient use of spectrum resources and adopting new broadband wireless technologies such as LTE-Advanced will allow us to satisfy the changing needs of our mobile customers,” Castelo said.
Globe is also pursuing its fixed broadband expansion program to propel the Philippine internet index to a comparative level within the region, he said, adding that the company is committed to provide ultra fast internet in 2 million households over 20,000 barangays by 2020.