Globe’s first 5G-enabled services available by Q2 2019

Gelo Gonzales

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Globe’s first 5G-enabled services available by Q2 2019
Globe is deploying 5G technologies to Globe At Home fixed broadband products next year

MANILA, Philippines – Globe on Wednesday, June 6, announced that their first commercial 5G service will be available by the second quarter of 2019 – a significant milestone for  connectivity in the Philippines. 

5G or fifth-generation wireless technology is the next step for mobile networks, with massive speed and latency improvements over 4G or LTE. 5G roll-outs worldwide are in motion now, with South Korea, the US, China and Japan currently leading the race to deploying a complete, nationwide 5G network. (READ: Smart launches 5G research facility, reports speed of 6.5Gbps in test)

Globe’s first 5G deployment will be applied to their fixed broadband, Globe At Home, service. With their 5G technologies, Globe seeks to deliver speeds of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps to fixed broadband subscribers via wireless radios instead of the traditional fiber optic connections. Globe calls the technology “Air Fiber.” 

“We have been preparing our network for sometime now with our existing vendor partners, including Huawei Technologies. We are happy to bring the Philippines in line with other countries that are early adopters of 5G,” Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said. 

Using 5G-enabled, wireless “Air Fiber” technology, the company says that it’s circumventing another infrastructure problem inherent to traditional fiber roll-outs: government permits.

Globe says that through wireless delivery, they won’t have to over the “circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable, which involves multiple permits from local government units (LGUs).”

The permits to build network facilities have long been an issue for network roll-outs, an issue that the government, especially the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) has acknowledged but has yet to truly fix, as suggested by Globe’s latest statements. “The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain delaying fiber optic roll-out completion,” Globe’s press statement goes.

“We can bring internet to more homes by deploying 5G compared to a typical fiber optic roll-out,” Cu said.

Globe hasn’t announced 5G deployment specifically for mobile devices. Globe also has a deal with Huawei as a technology partner, like rival Smart. Smart, on Thursday, June 6, announced the launch of their 5G research facility, and aims to be “5G-ready” by 2020.

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.