Globe Telecom fired up over the weekend the country’s first cell site that utilized the 700 megahertz spectrum, generating speeds that ranged between 60-100 Mbps. The company expects to deliver performance improvements as it completes ongoing optimization.
The move came less than a week after Globe acquired half of San Miguel Corp.’s telecommunication assets that included the 700 MHz frequency.
According to Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Governance, Network Technical Group, the first 700 MHz cell site, located near Hardin ng Bougainvillea in UP Diliman, Quezon City, benefits customers within a radius of 2.2 kilometers from the cell tower. So far, there are almost a hundred customers in the area using devices compatible with the LTE 700 MHz band experiencing the value of the technology. Officials of the National Telecommunications Commission, led by Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios inspected the site last Monday, June 6.
Agustin said the company plans to roll out initially about 200 sites using this particular frequency. “The intention is that the first batch of the 200 sites we plan to roll out will be in areas where connectivity matters most to our customers as well as in locations with high convergence of users like here in the National Capital Region,” he said. Globe plans to activate all 200 sites progressively, which means that more and more customers will get to experience the benefits of the 700 MHz moving forward. Users of phones that are not compatible with LTE are also expected to benefit from the deployment of 700 MHz cell sites as this will lead to decongestion of users on other frequencies.
The 700 MHz frequency is considered a key in providing faster internet speeds in the country as it can easily penetrate buildings and walls and has greater coverage with fewer infrastructures needed compared to frequencies on higher bands. Its qualities make it the most valuable frequency range for 4G/LTE technology. Agustin emphasized that utilization of the 700 MHz bodes well with the company’s capacity enhancement initiative amid burgeoning demand for bandwidth on growing customers’ propensity for multi-media content.
“About 70 to 80% of our customers are transacting data indoors and we need the 700 MHz spectrum to provide better coverage and stable connectivity inside their homes. Indoor connectivity is one issue that the 700 MHz spectrum addresses,” he said.
Agustin further emphasized that utilizing the 700 MHz would allow the deployment of a high-capacity LTE-based wireless and fixed broadband network in rural areas, supporting the company’s initiative of expanding internet reach to many Filipinos. “Using low-frequency 700 MHz enables mobile signals to travel farther, which, in turn, will enable the company to significantly improve the coverage of its broadband services in rural areas and allow our customers in those locations to gain internet access,” he added.
More and more devices are supporting the 700MHz that now include Samsung’s S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, and J5 2016.