Globe vows 95% cities coverage by end-2018

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AYALA-LED Globe Telecom has submitted its three-year coverage rollout plan to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in which it committed to provide mobile services, including voice, SMS and data to 95 percent of municipalities and cities by the end of 2018.

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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 buyout of San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) telco assets together with PLDT Inc.

In a letter addressed to NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said company started to implement the rollout plan in June.

Castelo said Glob 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 a 100 percent 4G network while more than 60 percent of its sites are now equipped with LTE for mobile broadband services, Castelo said.

LTE, the fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone technology, is an all-IP (internet protocol) network that delivers a superior data service experience to customers compared to 3G technologies.

Globe has already upgraded over 25 cell sites with LTE 700 megahertz and more than 600 cell sites with the additional 2600 MHz spectrum and about 1,500 cell sites with the additional 1800 MHz spectrum as part of its commitment to improve mobile internet speeds within one year.

Castelo explained that by yearend, the company expects that about 2,200 of the company’s existing cell sites representing over 30 percent if its network nationwide would be upgraded using the additional spectrum from the co-use agreement.

“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,” he 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 in over 20,000 barangays by 2020.

Smart’s rollout plan
Last week, PLDT subsidiary and wireless leader Smart Communications Inc. submitted to the NTC its own three-year rollout plan, which includes the deployment of LTE service in 95 percent of cities and municipalities nationwide by the end of 2018.

Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor at PLDT and Smart, said that Smart is rapidly expanding both the coverage and capacity of its LTE service, using its existing frequencies combined with the new spectrum that it had gained access to under the co-use arrangement between PLDT and the telecoms business of SMC.

“We are accelerating our LTE deployment because this will enable us to deliver faster, more reliable and affordable Internet services throughout the country,” Horn said.

This year, Smart is deploying the 700 MHz covered by the co-use arrangement, to roll out LTE in 360 cell sites in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. Using the 700 MHz together with its existing frequencies, Smart will cover nearly 40 percent of the country’s 1,634 cities and municipalities by the end of 2016.

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