Globe fires up cell site for 700mhz band

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2016 08:59 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2016 11:55 PM

MANILA - Globe Telecom has fired up its first cell site that accesses the 700 megahertz (mhz) radio frequency which it recently acquired from San Miguel Corporation.

On Monday, the company tested its impact on internet speed, through Ookla's Speedtest application.

The site is located in a suburban area in Quezon City. Globe and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) observed the speed test.

Based on the different tests conducted today, internet speeds, after accessing the 700 mhz frequency, reach 66mbps to 100mbps near the cell site.

"If you are downloading a 100mbps na video clip, it will take you practically just a second with these kinds of capabilities right now," said Manny Estrada, Globe's senior vice-president for tech service design.

NTC, however, said this speed thins as the number of users increase.

As of now, those who have access to this 700 mhz frequency are those within the 2.2-km radius from the cell tower and using phones that support band 28. These phones are the most recently released ones, including Samsung S6, S7, J7, J5 and some Huawei phones.

Unfortunately for iPhone users, Globe Senior Vice President Joel Agustin said they will have to download an updated iOS 10 to be able to access the 700 mhz frequency.

Despite this, non-LTE capable phones, according to the test conducted today, still experienced improvement in internet speed, from the usual 10 to 15 mbps to 15 to 27 mbps.

Globe explains, this is because access to the 700 mhz frequency decongested the other frequencies.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, meanwhile, said it is important for telcos to continue building cell sites to maintain the increased speed with the growing number of users.

Globe expects to upgrade 200 cell towers around the country to access the 700 mhz spectrum in one and a half months.