Amid regulatory probe, Globe powers 130 cell sites in Visayas, Mindanao

Chrisee Dela Paz
Amid regulatory probe, Globe powers 130 cell sites in Visayas, Mindanao
This is despite the Philippine Competition Commission's claim that the deal to buy out all of SMC's telecommunication businesses 'has not been deemed approved' yet

MANILA, Philippines – Globe Telecom, Incorporated has activated 130 more cell sites in the Visayas and Mindanao, using the 2,600 megahertz (MHz) spectrum of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

This is despite the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) claim that the P69.1-billion deal to buy out all of SMC’s telecommunication businesses “has not been deemed approved” yet.

Globe said in a statement on Wednesday, June 15, that it continues to utilize the spectrum resources of SMC through the activation of 130 cell sites in the Visayas and Mindanao, providing customers in those regions with additional network capacities to support growing demand for bandwidth. (READ: Globe wish list for Duterte: Submarine cables, less red tape)

The company’s additional allocation in the 2,600 MHz band forms part of the resources that Globe recently acquired following a joint buy with PLDT, Incorporated of SMC’s telecommunication assets. (READ: The future of 700 MHz band remains unclear)

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo stood his ground on Tuesday, June 14, saying that “such transaction shall be deemed approved and may no longer be challenged under Section 23 of PCA (Philippine Competition Act).”

Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice-president for program governance, network technical group, said the Ayala-led telco plans to use the 2,600 MHz band in more sites “to immediately put to use frequencies that were previously underutilized.”

Higher frequencies

Globe said the 2600 MHz band is well placed for increasing network capacities using LTE technology. (READ: San Miguel’s sale of telco business: Will consumers benefit?)

While lower frequencies, like the 700 MHz, provide better signal penetration and stronger indoor coverage, higher frequencies, like the 2,600 MHz, provide additional capacity for broadband data, Agustin said. 

“In fact, to fully realize the benefits of the 2,600 MHz frequency, the 130 sites where we deployed the additional spectrum is just an initial rollout and we plan to fire up a substantial number of our sites in this band,” he said.

Globe and PLDT started activating their first cell sites using the 700 MHz spectrum, previously assigned to SMC. 

On the sidelines of PLDT’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday, its chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, told reporters that his company will activate a total of 360 cell sites, mostly in metropolitan areas. – Rappler.com

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