Through the support of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, and the Joint Memorandum Circular 01 of the ARTA, DILG and other concerned agencies, Globe was able to secure 1,857 permits for 2020. These permits allowed Globe to build 1,050 new sites to date and complete 10,876 upgrades to 4G/LTE. Globe expects to complete the build of 1,300 new cell sites by the end of 2020.
The new sites were built in areas that needed connectivity the most, including Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Antique, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, Aklan, Maguindanao, Cotabato, Misamis Oriental, and Davao del Oro.
On top of improving mobile services, Globe will build 600K broadband lines by the end of 2020, 55% more vs FY 2019, in recognition of the increased internet usage at home for learning, business, and work due to the pandemic. By making FTTH more pervasive, this will enable the country to catch up with its neighbors in terms of speed and total quality of connectivity.
The rollout of 5G is also on track. To date, Globe has 708 sites making 5G available in 17 key cities in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. The telco expects to cover 80% of Metro Manila with 5G technology by the end of 2020.
Improved data experience with advanced technology
The network upgrades of existing sites to 4G LTE resulted in positive customer feedback from over 1,098 cities, municipalities and 80 provinces which are now experiencing significant improvements in calls, texts and data services. Customers in areas including Lucban, Quezon; Lobo, Batangas; Jolo, Sulu; Guinobatan, Albay; Limay, Bataan; Antipolo and Cainta in Rizal; Lapu-Lapu, Cebu; Legazpi City, Albay; Angeles City, Pampanga; Malolos City, Bulacan; Pontevedra, Capiz, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Quezon City, Valenzuela City, Paranaque City, Las Pinas City, Manila in Metro Manila; Ormoc City, Leyte; and San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur were able to experience service improvements.
Several LGUs have likewise expressed the importance of connectivity in their areas. Some of these partner LGUs including those in remote areas, like Liloan in Cebu and Oriental Mindoro. Globe was the first to answer the call for connectivity in Liloan.
“It’s high time we bring development to the high mountainous parts of Liloan, which is one of the most beautiful and very rich in resources here in our town. Let’s bring equal opportunity to them, the same opportunities our lowland barangays enjoy,” Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco said.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor also extolled the cellsite erected in his area. “Because of the COVID19 pandemic, kinailangan ng probinsiya ngayon na mag adjust sa bagong normal, karamihan sa mga transaction ngayon ay ginagamitan ng online. Karamihan ng mga ginagawa natin ngayon ay through internet. Nung wala pa internet na ganun kaayos, putul-putol kailangan nakaganun sa bintana, kailangan naghahanap ka ng signal sa kabi-kabila. Pero ngayon with the very good signal that we are now starting to experience, kailangan natin ito,” Dolor explained.
Improvements certified by International analytics firms
Globe has been consistent in performance improvements year on year in providing fast and reliable data services in the most critical areas of the country. Independent global analytics firms including UK-based Opensignal 1 and Ookla 2 have likewise reported these service improvements.
Globe has been awarded by Opensignal with the Global Rising Star Award for Most Improved Video Experience 3 , based on user data covering the first half of 2019 vs. the first half of 2020. Globe’s improvement score of 32.7% signifies impressive gains with the worldwide average at 14%. Opensignal’s metrics for “mobile video experience measures the average video experience of Opensignal users on 3G and 4G network with methodology that involves measuring real-world video streams and uses an ITU-based approach for determining video quality.” Other awards received by Globe include Best Voice App Experience 4 , and Joint Winner in Games Experience 5 .
Ookla(R) also verified that Globe has the most consistent 4G network in 13 out of 17 regions based on Q3 2020 data. These regions include Bicol, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Caraga, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Eastern Visayas, Ilocos Region, MIMAROPA, Northern Mindanao, Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), and the Zamboanga Peninsula.
These service improvements were spurred by Globe’s increased investments for capex to upgrade the network. This was reported in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020 6 where the Philippines ranked top 10 globally in terms of telco investments. Over the last 6 years, Globe has invested P255.70 billion in capex.
Affordable Internet for All
In terms of internet pricing and affordability, relative to other countries in Asia, the cost of mobile prepaid internet access in the Philippines remains to be among the most affordable at Php11.25 per GB versus Thailand (with a comparable cost of Php190.59), Singapore (Php35.60) and Indonesia (Php32.76) 7 . More importantly, Globe’s Prepaid promos have bigger data allocations that can be used in all websites and apps. Similarly, the price of Globe Prepaid Broadband is now at Php 9 per gigabyte. With the reduced price of mobile broadband, it is expected that the country’s cost of internet as a percent of GNI per capita will be much lower than the global average. This benefits the Philippine market even more which is about 97% prepaid. Altogether, access to the internet by Filipinos has never been more affordable and pervasive as it is now.
“With the country’s improving state of overall internet service in terms of speed, affordability, and access to a more advanced 4G and 5G technology, coupled with the strengthened support from the government, we are optimistic that the country’s state of connectivity is well on its way to be at par with our Asian neighbors,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.
Supporting Students and Teachers for Online Learning
Globe, being a strong advocate of quality education, is doing its part to help the government implement online learning easier through multiple partnerships with both the public and private education institutions:
- Partnership with the Department of Education for the Global Filipino Teachers program, a series of teacher training workshops to equip teachers on tech literacy, blended learning, 21st century learning approaches, early childhood literacy, and mental wellness
- Globe eLibrary which is readily accessible with no data charges for K-12 students with materials provided by the DepEd and other sources
- Supported DepEd’s blended learning program with a donation of 1,000 Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi modems under the WiFi2Teach Program to equip selected public school teachers with connectivity.
- Aid for DepEd’s Sulong Edukalidad program by supporting 6,000 teachers from 146 public schools nationwide with connectivity assistance from Globe and Ayala Foundation.
- Globe Business provided 11,000 LTE pocket mobile WiFi devices to the City of Manila for its public school teachers, as well as free connectivity solutions via BatangMaynilaSurf Plans
- The Quezon City government also granted Globe’s bid to provide students from 160 QC public schools with strong connectivity.
- Provision of pre-owned laptops to various public schools in the provinces to help disadvantaged teachers and students who have no access to a computer.
- Globe assisted schools and universities with prepaid WiFi kits, with affordable packages tailor-fit for students and instructors, and a customizable suite of apps to aid the learning process.
#FirstWorldNetwork by 2021
By 2021, Globe’s ambition is to provide customers with 4G/LTE services everywhere and 5G where it matters. By making 4G/LTE the new mobile standard for the Philippines, more customers will experience better data and faster internet speed anywhere they are. Globe is ramping up investments, targeting more than 2.5x the number of fiber to homes in 2020. For mobile, the telco will build 2,000 sites including in-building solutions (IBS), partnerships with independent tower companies and new cell sites.
Also, as more 5G-capable devices enter the market, Globe will continue to aggressively roll out 5G to more cities and municipalities to serve the early adopters. With a better data network in place, voice services will likewise improve by providing VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) and VoWiFi (Voice Over WiFi), to deliver clearer voice calls, faster call setup and near zero dropped calls. VoLTE and VoWiFi are initially being rolled out in NCR and in other parts of Luzon, and will be implemented in Visayas and Mindanao by 2021.