Globe Telecom of the Philippines says it has rolled out close to 5,000 4G LTE cell sites across the country, using the 700MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands, with a target to add at least 600 more sites by the end of the year. According to Globe senior vice president Joel Agustin, the company is forecasting a 50% increase in mobile data traffic over the same period, noting: ‘Over the years, Globe has been continuously upgrading its network infrastructure and capacities to make us future-ready in anticipation of our customers’ bandwidth requirement … As our LTE network is steadily becoming more and more pervasive, more and more people transacting in LTE will have improved mobile data experience compared to 3G.’ Globe says that currently, around 43% of data traffic is carried over the 4G network. In the first six months of this year the volume of data increased by 85% to 280PB, from 151PB in H1 2016, buoyed by strong take-up of smartphones which are now used by roughly 67% of all Globe mobile users.
Agustin pointed out that many Globe subscribers own LTE devices but are still using 3G SIMs, while many others have migrated to LTE network-ready SIMs but are still using 2G/3G-only devices. ‘We want to encourage our customers especially those that are already using LTE devices to migrate to the LTE network by switching to a LTE SIM for better mobile experience,’ he added. Since January 2017 Globe has already migrated around 900,000 customers who were previously using LTE devices with a 3G SIM, he said. The bulk of Globe’s 4G LTE sites are located in Metro Manila and other highly populated areas, where the majority of customers using LTE-based handsets live.