Globe to complete $700-M network upgrade next year

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 05 2012 09:59 AM | Updated as of Sep 05 2012 05:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc. expects to complete its $700 million nationwide network modernization program in the first quarter of next year with the completion of the project in key cities in Metro Manila including Makati, Mandaluyong, and Pasig in the fourth quarter this year.

Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu said in a statement that critical areas in Metro Manila are now entering the completion phase with Quezon City at 90 percent completion.

Cu pointed out that the cities of Pasig and Mandaluyong would be done by October while Makati would be completed by November this year.

“We will continue moving south from there and will have the whole country completed by the first quarter of 2013,” he stressed.

He pointed out that the company is ahead of schedule since the project was launched last November with more than 50 percent of the project completed wherein over 3,000 sites have been upgraded and thousands of kilometers of fiber optic cable have been laid out.

So far, Globe has rolled out new equipment in high traffic areas such as Davao, Cebu, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Marikina City as well as the towns of Angono, Antipolo, Baras, Binangonan, Cardona, Jala-Jala, Morong, Pililia, Rodriguez, San Mateo, Tanay and Teresa in Rizal.

Globe announced last November that it would embark on a $700-million network modernization program to address growing concerns from subscribers and improve its service capabilities especially for mobile data.

The program also aims to future proof the network for smartphone traffic and to allow evolution to new standards such as 4G LTE launched in Makati this month.

Globe reported that a router supplied by a leading US vendor malfunctioned and had to be reconfigured over the weekend wherein Globe subscribers experienced difficulty making and receiving calls in some parts of Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Paranaque as well as parts of Manila and Pasay.

The telecom provider said it would replace the system in conjunction with the ongoing network buildup.

“The recent challenges have nothing to do with our new network. It only serves to highlight why we need new infrastructure to service this market. We are progressively building our brand new network with our technology partner,” Cu added.

The network modernization program, touted as the most significant investment of Globe in the last two decades, includes an all-IP infrastructure, pervasive 3G and HSPA+ coverage, greater fiber optics capacity, 4G and LTE readiness, and overall improved quality and resiliency.

Once completed, Globe envisions a robust and resilient network that could provide an unparalleled customer experience to set the company apart from competition.

“While building a new network and keeping the old one running is challenging, we are on plan and the modernised areas have yielded the results that we expect. Customers in these areas are already experiencing faster mobile browsing, quicker call connections, rare dropped calls and instant text delivery,” he said.