Filipino telecoms operator Globe Telecom has submitted a request to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for lower-bandwidth frequencies to offer 3G services, as part of its plans to deploy UMTS in rural parts of the country. Globe, which is currently rolling out 3G in key cities in the Philippines, says it needs the lower bandwidth to fulfil its plan of achieving nationwide coverage. In its filing with the NTC Globe said: ‘The frequencies are of a lower bandwidth than our current 3G frequency assignment; as such, their transmission and reception capability covers a greater range from a technology standpoint … This characteristic can permit the use of fewer 3G base stations and network elements, while still providing substantial coverage’.
The Philippines is not the only country considering licensing frequencies in a lower bandwidth for 3G. On 27 February the French telecoms regulator Arcep authorised domestic mobile operators Orange France and Societe Francaise de Radiotelephonie (SFR) to roll out 3G mobile technology using 900MHz band frequencies previously reserved for GSM services. The move will enable the two companies to up their national 3G coverage to include virtually the entire French population.