What 700 MHz frequency does to internet speeds

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2016 10:09 PM

MANILA - The 700MHz additional frequency acquired by Globe Telecom and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) will improve internet coverage and penetration to help stabilize speed, but does not necessarily make internet services faster, experts said.

READ: PLDT, Globe to acquire San Miguel's telecom business 

Roy Espiritu, spokesman for Information and Communication Technology office of the Department of Science and Technology, said the 700MHz frequency allows networks to reach rural areas and penetrate through walls.

For instance, those staying in the basement will have the same signal strength as those staying on other floors.

Espiritu said, in that sense, the frequency does help improve internet speed. But for those areas where signal is already strong, Espiritu said they may not feel any significant increase in internet speed, unless telcos do something to ease congestion and peering.

Espiritu calls the average 5mbps internet speed that National Telecommunications Commission expects from telcos a "very hopeful expectation."

For him, the way to improve internet speed is to have a third player in the industry that could pressure the two leading telcos to upgrade their services.

He said the remaining 20MHz bandwidth from the 700MHz frequency should be enough for a third player.

Internet speed in the Philippines is among the most expensive and the second slowest in Asia, next only to Afghanistan. Consumer groups have blamed this on a lack of competition.