As part of efforts to enhance network coverage and capacities and improve customer experience, Ayala-led Globe Telecom has partnered with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the deployment of wireless infrastructure in MMDA-controlled areas.
On Monday, Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest Cu and MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos signed a landmark deal at the MMDA headquarters to enable the telco operator to fast track the deployment of LTE 700 MHz, LTE 1800 MHz, and LTE 2600 MHz or the additional frequencies the company reassigned to Globe after the co-acquisition of San Miguel Corp.’s telecom business.
“The permitting process for the deployment of wireless infrastructure has been a major challenge for telecommunication operators like Globe and the MMDA’s decision to support our efforts in providing better mobile coverage for our customers is a groundbreaking development that will lend valuable support for our endeavor of ushering the Philippines to become a digital nation,” said Cu.
The partnership is also expected to improve mobile coverage and network capacities in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
The agreement initially covers MMDA flood control facilities located along Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. and in Barangay 190 in Pasay City; Sta Ana, Tondo, Quiapo, Pandacan, Sta. Cruz, Binondo, Sampaloc, Paco, and Sta Mesa in Manila; Balong Bato in San Juan City; Channel Taguig, Barangay Wawa and Barangay Hagonoy in Taguig City; and C6 Tapayan in Taytay, Rizal.
Globe and MMDA are also working on expanding the agreement to include MMDA pylons and street lights to cover major EDSA, C5 Road, Ortigas Ave., Quezon Ave., España Blvd., Roxas Blvd., Commonwealth Ave., Marcos Highway, and SLEX.
Globe will also provide connectivity support as well as video monitoring equipment in flood control facilities to enhance the MMDA public safety program since a number of locations in Metro Manila are flood-prone areas.
In a separate statement, Globe on Monday said it beat rival Smart Communications Inc. as the first telecommunications company to provide free Wi-Fi services in all 20 LRT stations.
The service is expected to benefit around 400,000 passengers daily.
An agreement signed by Globe and the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), the concessionaire of the Light Rail Transit System-Line 1 (LRT1), the telco agreed to provide Wi-Fi services accessible to LRT1 passengers and employees, said Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice president for Program Governance, Network Technical Group.
Agustin said Globe will also provide fiber optic cable system that will extend cover the entire LRT 1 and cover all LRT stations and LRMC’s depot in Pasay City. In addition, the telco will also enhance its wireless infrastructure by deploying cell sites in each LRT stations.
“Globe will also deploy the new LTE700/1800/2600 MHz spectrum to provide adequate capacity to handle the massive mobile traffic volume at these stations,” he said.
Once completed, it is expected to improve customer experience not only of LRT1 commuters but also those plying the Taft Ave. and Rizal Ave. route.
In early June, Globe signed a similar agreement on free Wi-Fi connectivity in all 13 MRT stations along EDSA.
Globe has set aside a capital expenditure of $750 million for 2016, the bulk of which will be used to boost data capacity and expand network reach. The company will also increase the capacity of its network for both mobile and wire lines using different technologies including 3G, LTE and Wi-Fi.
In the first half of 2016, Globe said its data traffic increased by 35 percent to 151 petabytes as of end-June this year from 112 petabytes a year earlier.
The sharp increase in data traffic is also supported in part by declining mobile data rates, Cu noted. He pointed out that the company’s mobile data pricing is now one of the most competitive across the Asia Pacific, providing its customers with more data allocation.