Filipino operator Globe Telecom says it has switched on 130 4G-enabled cell sites at 2600MHz in Visayas and Mindanao, having recently been allocated additional spectrum in these areas. The telco’s vice-president for programme governance, network technical group, R. Agustin, said the decision to switch on the cell sites forms part of a plan to expand 4G at 2600MHz ‘to immediately put to use frequencies that were previously under-utilised to improve the broadband data experience of its customers’. The frequencies in question are those formerly held by San Miguel Corp’s Vega Telecom unit – recently sold to Globe and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). The higher band frequencies are ideally suited to increasing capacity for data traffic, Globe notes, whereas its new 700MHz band spectrum is better served to provide improved signal penetration and stronger indoor coverage. Globe says it also intends to continue deploying carrier aggregation (CA) technology to boost download speeds on its 4G systems.
In a separate deal, PLDT and Globe are believed to have signed an IP peering deal – an agreement that was six years in the making. The peering contract will hopefully improve local internet links and raise the quality of internet services in the Philippines, with PLDT’s Ernesto Alberto, commenting: ‘This is a very positive development and is in line with our digital pivot. We are focused on taking effective measures to improve internet services in the country. IP peering is one such measure.’ Echoing his sentiments, Globe’s Gil Genio welcomed the domestic IP peering deal, noting that both telcos ‘can’t be real internet service providers without IP peering’. The contract allows for direct local exchange of traffic between PLDT’s Philippine Internet Exchange (PhIX) and Globe’s Globe Internet Exchange (GIX) destined to each other’s own broadband and mobile customers.