In a push to make 4G/LTE mobile data more pervasive in the Philippines, Globe Telecom is improving its network infrastructure and expanding its reach through new site builds and network upgrades nationwide.
The telco operator is currently undertaking efforts to upgrade existing sites to 4G/LTE using many different frequencies and fast-tracking the fiberisation of Filipino homes that will continue until the end of 2021. Globe Telecom is also committing to spend US$1 billion on upgrading its network infrastructure.
Globe’s investment follows the announcement of a national plan to shape a new normal for the Philippines by ramping up the shift into a new, digital economy, as well as a call by the government for the telco sector to improve their internet services.
"Internet services have become a critical need for many Filipinos. With the evolution of mobile technologies, it is high time for our country to have 4G/LTE everywhere as the basic mobile internet technology used by everyone,” said Gil Genio, Globe's Chief Technology and Information Officer.
Mobile users in the Philippines spend 63.3% of their time connecting to Wi-fi, the highest of any Asian country, reported independent analytics firm Opensignal. With 3G, smartphones generally see download speeds of up to around 2Mbps, while 4G can reach up to 5 Mbps.
A higher network generation also delivers a higher capacity, meaning it can support a greater number of users at any given time. It will also allow for higher data rates, so that multimedia applications such as video calling and You Tube videos can run more smoothly.
“Both 4G and 5G were designed for the internet, with 5G designed specifically for new uses such as video streaming, mobile gaming, and even IoT. We call on all customers who still use 3G for mobile data to make the 4G/5G change - SIMs and handsets - and see the difference," added Genio.
The mobile landscape in the Philippines to date comprises 173.2 million users, most of who are 2G and 3G. This is unlikely to remain as new mobile technologies emerge, said Opensignal, which indicates that 4G availability has risen to more than 80% in the country as of November 2020.