Philippines’ Globe Telecom to deploy “Air Fiber 5G” this month

Globe Telecom has made the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia to offer commercial “5G” fixed wireless internet.  The rollout of these services, from early July 2019, form part of Globe’s efforts to connect two million homes across the Philippines by 2020.

The at home ‘Air Fiber 5G’ postpaid plans that Globe has released offer Filipinos the option of high bandwidth and low latency services, especially given the challenge of rolling out fiber optic cables across the country.

“The arrival of 5G has caused excitement in the global world of telecommunications,” said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom. “Today, we made a crucial step in fulfilling our goal of connecting more Filipino homes, and our vision of bringing first-world Internet to the Philippines,” Cu added.

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G postpaid plans will offer fiber-like speeds up to 100Mbps.  Super-sized data packages of up to 2 terabytes will be initially available in select areas in Pasig, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Globe at Home Air Fiber 5G will be available to eligible customers in July 2019. Plans come at P1899 per month for up to 20Mbps, P2499 for up to 50Mbps and P2899 for up to 100Mbps. All come with up to 2TB data capacity.

“Prior to Air Fiber 5G, we have aggressively utilized fixed wireless solutions to connect more homes and businesses to the internet over airwaves,” said Cu. “This strategy resulted in home broadband subscriber base increasing by 55.1 per cent to 1.7 million in the first three months of 2019 from 1.1 million in the same period in 2016.”

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G modem

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“Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables which enables the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable – a task which proves to be arduous and involves securing multiple permits from local government units (LGUs),” Cu said.

“The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain, causing drastic delays in fiber optic roll-out completion,” Cu added.

Alberto de Larrazabal, Globe’s chief commercial officer, told reporters in the Philippines that Globe would use Huawei’s equipment, including radios and modems, to deliver “5G quality broadband internet.”

[Huawei and Finland’s Nokia were Globe’s equipment providers for its 4G-LTE service.]

Cu said that the company has been spending over 21% of its annual total revenues to upgrade and expand its telecommunication and IT infrastructure since 2012. “We have been ramping up our capital spend from P20.3 billion in 2012 to P43.3 billion in 2018, in order to provide our customers better broadband services,” he said.

Editor’s Notes:

  1. The Philippines ranks 107th among 178 countries in fixed broadband speed at 19.55 megabits per second (Mbps) versus the global average of 59.6 Mbps. Among 140 countries, it ranks 107th in terms of mobile internet speed at 15.10 Mbps, nearly half of the 27.22 Mbps global average.
  2. Globe is owned by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd holding a minority stake.

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References:

https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/newsroom/consumer/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g.html

https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/06/26/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos/

https://sg.channelasia.tech/article/663513/philippines-rolls-commercial-5g-services-through-globe-telecom/

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/699258/faster-internet-service-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos-at-home/story/

https://www.bworldonline.com/globe-launches-first-5g-service-in-southeast-asia/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/11/26/huaweis-all-bands-go-to-5g-strategy-explained-partnership-with-china-telecom-described/

Globe Telecom Extends Internet Reachability in Europe via DE-CIX Interconnect

Globe Telecom [1] has extended internet reachability further in Europe by connecting its network to Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), the world’s largest internet exchange point (IXP) [2] by size.  DE-CIX is a carrier and data center-neutral IXP operator situated in Frankfurt, with a peak traffic of over 6.4 Terabits per second, interconnecting more than 800 member networks from around the world.

In total, DE-CIX globally serves over 1,500 network operators, internet service providers (ISPs), and content providers from more than 100 countries with peering and interconnection services at its 13 locations in India, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.  Globe Telecom recently peered at the DE-CIX in Germany.

“This initiative will further complement existing infrastructure and enable users direct access to European content. At the same time, it functions as alternate internet gateways to the Philippines from that region as the internet is two-way,” said Gil Genio, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Globe.

In total, DE-CIX globally serves over 1500 network operators, internet service providers (ISPs), and content providers from more than 100 countries with peering and interconnection services at its 13 locations in India, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.

“We are pleased to welcome Globe Telecom within our broad range of customers. With the DE-CIX services, Globe Telecom will be able to enhance its customers’ internet user experience and connect to all major international content providers available at DE-CIX Frankfurt,” said Theresa Bobos, Director for DE-CIX Southern Europe.

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Editor’s Notes: 

  1. Globe Telecom, commonly shortened as Globe, is a major provider of telecommunications services in the Philippines. It operates one of the largest mobile, fixed line, and broadband networks in the country.  The company’s principal shareholders are Ayala Corporation and Singapore Telecommunications.
  2.  An IXP is where IP networks meet to exchange traffic, similar to malls where different stores are present at a common location. It provides the facility that promotes and enables multi-network traffic exchange. This provides for the lowest latency path possible and therefore greatly enhances Globe customers’ internet experience.

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Genio said connecting to European IXPs is a step forward to reinforce the Philippines’ ICT ecosystem in terms of global IP connectivity as it enhances the flow of IP traffic in both directions. “Improvements may also be observed in reaching networks that are part of the exchanges as the set-up will avoid the traditional via US traverse,” he added.

Globe is currently the local telecommunications company with the most number of connections to IXPs, with 23, based on information from Hurricane Electric. This reflects the Philippines’ presence in the global IP landscape.

References:

https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/newsroom/corporate/globe-telecom-extends-internet-reach.html

https://business.inquirer.net/259176/globe-telecom-extends-internet-reachability-further-in-europe#ixzz5UPETrTP5

Separately, Globe Telecom was recognized as Asia’s Best Workplace of the Year at the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards (ACES).  “We are glad to be recognized as Asia’s Best Workplace of the Year at the prestigious ACES. Being an integral part of the company’s and nation’s success, we put a premium on ensuring our employees find purpose and meaning in their work. By allowing their work to serve a purpose beyond just livelihood, we ensure the ability of our people to lead happy and meaningful lives. This, more than anything else, is what sets Globe apart from any other company,” said Renato Jiao, Chief Human Resource Officer at Globe.

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