Globe says $790-M modernization will result in 'brand-new' network

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Sep 12 2012 08:02 AM | Updated as of Sep 19 2012 02:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Globe Telecom said its $790-million network modernization program is close to 50-percent completion and is on track to complete the change-out throughout the country in the first quarter of 2013.

The networks in the following areas already have been transformed: South Luzon, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Navotas, Apayao, Sulu, Tawi Tawi, Zamboanga, Sibugay, Sorsogon and Basilan. The change out in Quezon City will be completed by September; Ortigas Business District by October; and Makati by November.

Globe president Ernest Cu described the company’s massive modernization effort as “different” in many ways from a traditional transformation that other networks go through.

"Others mask modernization with simply a business-as-usual change-out of old equipment. At Globe, our transformation is very different because it is indeed building a brand new network," he said.

Globe said it has effectively future-proofed the network with thrice the number of 3G base stations for better call quality and pervasive coverage.

Aside from the hardware needed to power the new infrastructure, Cu reported that Globe has also steadily progressed with the nationwide installation of over 12,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable "the main backbone of providing rapid mobile data streams" which will address issues of slow mobile internet and the over-extended backhaul that most networks are experiencing.

"In the Philippines, as we have said many times before in the past, the networks were actually built for text traffic and not for mobile Internet. SMS networks are characterized by very thin backhaul capabilities. Very fast mobile Internet almost requires purely fiber optics in terms of backhaul because of the tremendous amounts of data traveling from the base station all the way to the core and out on the Internet," he explained. Cu added that the new network will have "more capacity, lead to quicker, clearer and better quality call and text experience."

“There are a number of challenges that the old network is facing today due to changing usage patterns and mobile data preferences of existing subscribers. With our entirely new network, all these inconveniences will be a thing of the past,” said Cu.

He also corrected reports pertaining to the modernization efforts undertaken by Globe, saying that "for the last five months we have been moving very quickly, updating and installing more than 100 sites a week since April of this year. So we are quite close to 50-percent done in terms of the network change-outs."