Sunday, September 23, 2012

Globe Network Transformation is Half Complete

Globe Telecom announced that its network transformation program is halfway completed, with nationwide cellsite change-out set to finish by first quarter of 2013.

 Providing key updates on its network transformation program, Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu described the company’s massive modernization effort as “different” in many ways from a traditional transformation that other networks go through. 

“Others mask modernization with simply a business-as-usual change-out of old equipment. At Globe, our transformation is very different because it is indeed building a brand new network covering core elements, transmission, and access equipment,” he confirmed. 

 Cu said that with the complete replacement of its infrastructure, Globe has effectively future-proofed the network with thrice the number of 3G base stations for better call quality and more pervasive coverage, and ready for the commercial launch of 4G LTE this month as the modernization pushes forward.  

To date, over 3,000 Globe cellsites have already been swapped with the newest, best-in-class infrastructure while simultaneously increasing 4G HSPA+ footprint by 4x the current site count. Of these, the Globe network in the following areas have already been transformed: Bulacan, Marikina, Cebu, Davao, South Luzon, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Navotas, Apayao, Zamboanga, Sibugay, Sorsogon, and Basilan. The change-out in Quezon City will be completed by September, Ortigas and Pasig by October, and Makati Central Business District by November.

Aside from the hardware needed to power the new infrastructure, Cu reported that Globe has also steadily progressed with the nationwide installation of over 12,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable—the main backbone of providing rapid mobile data streams—which will address issues of slow mobile internet and the over-extended backhaul that most networks are experiencing.  

The current Globe network is designed to provide quality voice and SMS service on the back of subscriber demand back in the early 2000s. However, the advent of ‘unlimited services’ and new technologies such as mobile browsing giving subscribers access to the Internet via their mobile phones have resulted to existing challenges in the legacy network.

What does this mean for the consumer once the new network is powered up? The highest-ranking Globe official said that it will have “more capacity, lead to quicker, clearer and better quality call and text experience.  With our entirely new network, all these inconveniences will be a thing of the past.” 

Cu also outlined the initiatives undertaken by Globe to ensure the full extent of the infrastructure improvements, which include a complete re-planning of its cell sites by actually relocating, repositioning and adding new sites and radio antennas, shifting to a new antenna technology to enhance coverage as well as improving power efficiency by using renewable energy to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
He also corrected reports pertaining to the modernization efforts undertaken by Globe, saying that “for the last five months we have been moving very quickly, updating and installing more than 100 sites a week since April of this year. So we are 50% done in terms of network change-outs.” 

In summary, the Globe president provided a clear picture of what to expect in the network transformation: “This is no usual upgrade. A brand new network will be coming with capacity many years forward, state-of-the-art performance and superior capabilities. You will see and you will find out that this network modernization is indeed real. It is coming and you will feel the difference when it comes to your particular area which will be very, very soon.” Cu said.

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