Globe to set up cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots at Shell gas stations

Chris Schnabel
Globe to set up cell sites, Wi-Fi hotspots at Shell gas stations
The telco and the oil firm identify an initial 14 Shell stations for their new partnership

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala-led Globe Telecom will boost its network infrastructure through a partnership with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.

Under the two companies’ agreement, Globe will widen its network by building cell sites at Shell gasoline stations.

The telco will also set up GoWiFi hotspots at select Shell stations.

“This collaboration with Shell is a breath of fresh air considering the enormous challenges we encounter in establishing network infrastructure such as cell sites,” said Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu in a statement on Monday, January 22.

“This also supports our commitment in continuing to build a robust and reliable network for our customers’ expanding data needs,” he added.

Both firms said they have identified 14 Shell stations as target sites, most of which are located along major thoroughfares and major areas of convergence which they said would help in “significantly improving mobile experience in surrounding areas.”

They added that other sites are likely to be added in the future.

Globe also said Shell is in talks with GCash for the adoption of its scan-to-pay feature in gasoline stations.

Introduced in August 2017, the feature allows customers to pay by simply scanning quick response (QR) codes of merchants using their smartphones.

GCash is a mobile wallet service offered by Mynt, a financial technology company owned by Globe, Ant Financial, and Ayala Corporation.

Globe has repeatedly said that red tape hampers the expansion of its network infrastructure. According to the telco, it takes at least 25 permits and at least 8 months to put up one cell site, excluding any additional concerns by various agencies.

Globe said earlier this year that its board of directors approved a cash capital expenditure budget of $850 million (P42.38 billion) for 2018, the same budget it earmarked last year.

Majority of the funds would go to expanding its data network and responding to the surge in popularity of on-demand video content. –

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