By Emmie V. Abadilla
Globe Telecom has hit its target of deploying 500 LTE sites on the 700 megahertz band (L700) to boost the country’s mobile Internet service, the telco announced yesterday (December 21, 2016).
The bulk of the deployment was in Metro Manila and other highly-populated areas where most customers using LTE-based handsets are located.
Globe also activated 900 additional LTE sites using its additional spectrum allocation in the 2600 megahertz band.
As a result, the telco is well on target to deploy 4,500 multiband, multi-mode software-defined radio station equipment to 95% of cities and municipalities in the country within a 3-year period, says Globe Senior Vice President for Program Governance, Network Technical Group Joel Agustin.
“We can now deliver more comprehensive LTE coverage in Metro Manila, substantially improving the mobile Internet experience of our customers in the region,” he noted.
On the other hand, deploying the 900 LTE 2600 sites benefitted customers in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.
Add to that, the telco seeks to improve indoor signal and capacity further in major cities nationwide.
In the middle of 2016, Globe began deploying LTE sites using the 700 MHz band after partially acquiring San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s telecommunication assets, which also included spectrum resources in 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.
To harness the benefits of these new spectrum assets, Globe allocated additional network investment of $300 million this October, bringing its 2016 total capital expenditure to $1 billion.
In 2017, Globe plans to deploy more LTE sites using its additional spectrum assets to accelerate its network build and stay ahead of growing consumer demands.
Early this year, Globe deployed fiber optic cables in 20,000 barangays all over the country, creating an Internet superhighway for 2 million homes.
However, the circuitous permitting process for telecom infrastructure, such as cell sites, still hamper the company’s aggressive expansion.
Globe has a backlog of 3000 sites amid difficulties in securing permits from various local government units, homeowner associations and other government agencies.
Because of this, the Philippines only has about 21,000 total cell sites compared to about 55,000 in Vietnam.
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