Globe details massive nationwide network upgrade plan; hints at using non-Chinese gear

24 Sep 2020

Globe Telecom today (24 September) announced plans to carry out its ‘largest network upgrade’ in recent times, including ramping up cell site builds, expanding coverage and increasing network capacity to handle more data, as it looks to react to the government’s charge to improve or risk facing the consequences if not. Coming ten years after it launched its ambitious ‘nationwide transformation program’, Globe’s latest initiative will ensure that all cell sites on its network will be upgraded to 4G LTE (supporting multi frequencies) while fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollouts will be ‘fast-tracked’ to improve fixed broadband connectivity. All the proposed upgrade works are slated to be completed ‘by 2021’, Globe claims.

Commenting, Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said: ‘Globe is in a much better position now to fulfil the demands of its customers. In heeding the call of the government, we shall endeavour to provide our customers with improved network performance and quality of service. We look towards the future where our country would have a strong digital economy backed by resilient and reliable connectivity.’ His firm has allocated PHP50.3 billion (USD1 billion) in capital expenditure this year, the majority of which will be for fixed and mobile network improvements.

In related news, Globe general counsel Atty. Froilan Castelo told members of a Senate public services committee hearing this week that the cellco is formulating a different strategy to use equipment from non-Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturers, amid rising tensions between China and the United States. In response to a question about current procurement, Castelo confirmed that currently 80% of the telco’s equipment is from Huawei, while the remaining 20% is from companies such as Ericsson and Nokia. However, counsel admitted that talks are ongoing with other companies: ‘Because of [these] developments coming in from the US and Europe, we’re coming up with a strategy for another network which is based on not Chinese telco equipment providers.’

Philippines, Globe Telecom (incl. Innove), Huawei Technologies