7 Jun 2016
Globe Telecom of the Philippines says it has switched on its first cell site operating at 700MHz, just a week after it agreed a deal to purchase a share of San Miguel Corp (SMC’s) telecommunications assets, including prized radio frequencies. Globe says that a demonstration of the new service achieved a download speed of 100.32Mbps. The first cell site is situated near Harding Bougainvillea in UP Diliman, Quezon City, with Globe now planning to invest in the rollout of 200 LTE 700MHz sites as it looks to boost mobile data revenues.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last week beer and food conglomerate SMC abandoned its long-harboured ambitions to shake up the Philippines’ uncompetitive mobile market, by agreeing to sell its telecoms asset Vega Telecom to the nation’s effective duopoly – PLDT and Globe Telecom – for approximately PHP69.1 billion (USD1.48 billion). As such, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given Globe Telecom and PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications permission to co-use certain radio frequencies in the coveted 700MHz spectrum previously held by SMC, as well as rights to other bands previously held by Vega. Confirming this, PLDT used a stock market filing to note: ‘The NTC has … approved the use by Smart Communications of certain radio frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands.’ Globe Telecom later released a similar statement. According to the NTC letter of approval issued on 27 May 2016, Globe is permitted to use the following frequencies in the so-called valuable spectrum frequency (VSF) 700MHz band: 703MHz-720.5MHz and 758MHz-775.5MHz.