Globe Telecom of the Philippines is looking to upgrade half of its existing cell sites with fibre next year, to enable them to support 3G and going forward, more advanced platforms based on High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies. The upgrade will address a growing demand for data-hungry services, it said in a statement. According to Jesus Romero, the head of Globe’s business division, around half of its 6,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) will be converted to fibre-optic backhaul to improve capacity next year, with the firm’s subscribers likely to start feeling the benefits in terms of service quality by June 2012. ‘There’s a dramatic increase in data now. Subscribers use twelve gigabits per day. In the next three years we anticipate that it will increase to 16 gigabits per day. The network is a bit stressed, so we will [upgrade] the network to address the new behaviour of subscribers,’ Malaya Business Insight quotes Romero as saying.
As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, Globe intends to spend USD790 million in a network upgrade and IT re-engineering programme as it seeks to strengthen its market position in a highly competitive sector. The announcement marks the telco’s biggest CAPEX in the last 20 years, with work to be carried out in the next two to three years, it said. Globe is looking to bolster its position in the wake of market leader PLDT’s recent acquisition of third-placed Filipino telco Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel). ‘Given the growing demand for bandwidth-heavy services, the modernisation programme will bring significant improvements to network capacity leading to improved reliability, ease of access and pervasive coverage,’ Globe said in a statement.