Globe to roll out new LTE technologies in 2015

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Sep 02 2014 03:39 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2014 01:24 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Globe Telecom Inc. is set to launch two new Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technologies next year that aim to provide high-speed mobile data access to its subscribers.

Globe is currently conducting trials for its LTE eMBMS (enhanced Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service) or LTE Broadcast, which allows seamless transmission of live video content to a large number of users without using huge amount of network resources.

The mobile video service can be used to watch and share video content on smartphones and tablets.

Ashish Pilani, Globe’s senior advisor for product planning, said the service will be useful in sharing real-time traffic and weather information as well as in emergency situations.

The LTE Broadcast can also be used for entertainment purposes, such as watching replays and extra footage during live sports events.

“You’re able to see the live game with your eyes and also the replays through different angles using the LTE eMBMS technology,” Pilani said at the Globe Innovation Forum on Tuesday, wherein Globe demonstrated its ongoing trials on LTE eMBMS and LTE-CA (Carrier Aggregation).

Watching live TV content on smartphones and tablets only require downloading the Live TV App.

“The benefit of using this technology is that it delivers the same content, which everyone needs, to the mass audiences in areas where there is aggregation of people,” said Pilani.

Globe Senior Advisor for Product Planning Ashish Pilani, Globe Head for Network Technologies Strategy Emmanuel Estrada, and Huawei Senior Account Manager Jordy Cao

However, Emmanuel Estrada, Globe Head of Network Technologies Strategy, said currently there is only a limited number of devices that support the technology.

“The devices are very crucial. We can have the network but if the devices are not ready then the customers will not be able to enjoy the technology itself,” he said.

Estrada said Globe is also still in talks with content providers for the video service, which may include TV networks.

“At the moment, we still have to firm up ‘yung mga agreements namin with the content [providers],” Estrada said at the sidelines of the Globe Innovation Forum.

Estrada noted that Globe is looking to partner with companies that can provide exclusive content.

“You have to have something that will differentiate you from the rest, makes you stand out… It will be something that will really be different,” he said.

Globe is also set to launch next year its LTE-CA technology, which aims to improve data rates and broadband capacity for its wireless broadband network and result to high-speed mobile data access.

“It is a technique of combining multiple spectrum bands into one to be able to offer faster speeds to its customers. It also adds the benefits of additional capacity which is required by users as more and more content goes into the network,” said Pilani.

Pilani noted that the LTE CA has an average throughput of around 220 Mbps, which he said makes wireless technology almost at par with wire technology.

“Philippines is challenged in terms of geography and terrain, so the reach of wire is always difficult. As wireless proves to be a more reliable technology for connecting the wider masses in the Philippines, Globe intends to deliver in this connectivity promise,” said Pilani.

He added that Globe has already invested $100 million for LTE technology, but the firm will continue to spend on expanding its LTE network coverage.

“Going forward, we are looking at a multi-million investment in enhancing the LTE network as well as offering carrier aggregation and eMBMs,” he said.

The telecommunications firm, owned by Ayala and Singapore's Singtel Group, is spending about P9 billion from the proceeds of a P10-billion preferred share sale for its LTE network development.

Globe announced in July that it became the country’s first telecommunications company to achieve 100 percent 3G coverage for its entire network, with 100 percent 4G coverage soon to follow.