Globe completes 1st phase of $700-M modernization

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 08 2013 07:31 AM | Updated as of Apr 08 2013 07:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc. has completed the first phase of its $700 million network modernization and transformation program as scheduled in the first quarter of the year.

Emmanuel Estrada, head network strategy of Globe Network Technology Group, said in a statement that all of the company’s cell sites nationwide have been replaced with the newest state-of-the-art equipment.

“The first phase of the modernization is practically done. We have immediately moved to the next phase of optimizing our new equipment for maximum performance. This concludes the modernization of our access network,” Estrada stressed.

An access network refers to the last mile or the final stretch radio frequencies must travel between a subscriber’s mobile phone and a service provider’s network.

He pointed out that the network modernization program of Globe Telecom that would transform consumer mobile experience has reached a critical milestone.

“In parallel, we are aggressively transforming our transport and core network elements to yield the best possible customer experience. Like all systems, a network is only as strong as all its elements combined and working harmoniously,” he added.

A transport network refers to the facilities that relay the signals from the cell sites of an access network. These are then moved to the core network where the heavy processing takes place, as what would be required for service subscriptions or billing, for example.

“We invested $700 million in a complete network modernization program. We are putting in a brand new access, transport, and core network. This is not a superficial facelift. The antennae and towers that most people see are the access components.

Then there are underground and aerial fiber optic cables for transport. Finally, there’s switching and routing equipment at the core. We expect to complete modernization of the last two network elements this year,” Estrada explained.

According to him, Globe laid down over 6,000 kilometers of additional in-land fiber in anticipation of higher traffic from mobile browsing and data usage and has also completed its submarine fiber optic cable links in Boracay and Palawan.

Likewise, Estrada said about 54 percent of Globe’s cell sites are already running on 4G HSPA+.

“To radically improve our network performance and our customers’ experience, we need to replace more than cell sites,” he said.

Rival dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) last year completed its own network modernization program worth over P67 billion and is set to spend another P29 billion in capital expenditures this year.