Globe Telecom has upgraded its 4G LTE network in Mindanao to support anticipated demand for digital services in the region while also expanding its 5G footprint across the rest of the Philippines.

Gigi Onag, Senior Editor, APAC

March 25, 2024

3 Min Read
Countryside Davao del Sur, Mindanao in the Philippines
(Source: Lester Casio on Unsplash)

Globe Telecom said it upgraded more than 2,500 4G LTE sites – in addition to building 276 new ones – across the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in 2023 to support anticipated growth in demand for digital services, as the region transitions into a key economic hub in the country.

"With Mindanao's growing economy and the government's commitment to infrastructure, we remain consistent in optimizing our network services to provide the backbone for the region's digital journey," Joel Agustin, SVP and head of network planning and engineering at Globe, said in a statement.

Mindanao is one of three major island groups of the archipelago, which is home to almost a quarter of the Philippine population, or approximately 26.3 million people, based on the latest available census.

The Philippine government is keen to turn the region into an economic powerhouse, securing financing for several initiatives, including economic reforms, food security and infrastructure development. In September, the country's Department of Finance said more than a third of high-impact infrastructure flagship projects (76 of 194), valued at 2.4 trillion Philippine pesos (US$42.43 billion), are to be built on the island.

Globe Telecom said its network boost in Mindanao aligns with the region's comprehensive plan to develop a competitive economy, as the mobile carrier also reiterated its commitment to help close the digital divide on the island.

In 2023, the company earmarked 91% of its $1.3 billion capital expenditure toward ensuring its network "is both resilient and future-ready." It also significantly increased the capacity of its 4G LTE infrastructure in the past year by building 1,217 new sites while upgrading 8,226 existing ones.

Expanded 5G footprint

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom said it has also expanded its 5G footprint across the country with 894 new sites as of the end of last year, achieving 97.9% outdoor coverage in the National Capital Region and 92.36% in key cities across Visayas and Mindanao.

Globe Telecom said it has strategically moderated its spending on new 5G sites, considering current market conditions and the search for viable use cases that fully harness the potential of 5G technology.

"This approach reflects the company's commitment to not only advance technology but also ensure its sustainable and strategic deployment," the company said in a press release.

In December, the mobile operator recorded over 5.8 million 5G subscribers.

The company ensured these subscribers could connect to 5G abroad by expanding its roaming partnerships to include 156 global telco partners across 82 countries.

It recently extended its roaming presence in Africa, adding Nigeria via a partnership with MTN and Mauritius via Cellplus, as well as an anticipated collaboration with Kenya through Africell.

In Asia, the mobile operator has also extended its reach to Kazakhstan and Laos via partnerships with Tele2 and LaoTel, respectively.

Globe Telecom has also established 5G roaming partnerships in Germany with Emnify and E-Plus Mobilfunk, Hong Kong through China Unicom, South Korea via LG Uplus, Malaysia in partnership with Cellcom and YTL, Norway through Mobile Norway, Sweden with Tele2 and COM4, and Thailand via DTAC.

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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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