Earlier this year Globe made an ambitious announcement – they are investing USD700M for a total infrastructure upgrade. In the press conference held at the Marco Polo hotel, this was corrected by Mr. Peter Bithos, Sr. Adviser for Consumer Business of Globe Telecoms; he said it is not actually an upgrade but a transformation. A fresh new infrastructure that will make the entire Globe network 4G and LTE ready.
While rival telco Smart currently undrgoing beta testing for their LTE, Globe Telecoms have started rolling out its new infrastructure and Davao City gets the first crack of the new 4G network.
With the new 4G network, Globe promises less dropped calls, faster SMS delivery, and of course a fast and reliable 4G coverage. The network modernization program touted as the most significant investment of Globe in the last two decades, includes all-IP infra, pervasive 3G coverage, double fiber optics capacity 4G and LTE readiness and overall quality and resiliency.
Why Davao City? Why not Metro Manila first? The same question that I had in my mind. Globe’s answer is simple – Davao City is a key market and focus area for them, it was tapped for the implementation of the network transformation beginning December last year, resulting to doubled mobile telephony capacity in the area to support growing customer demand and improvements in voice and SMS service quality delivery. People from other cities don’t have to worry though, according to Peter Bithos about 10 teams from Globe are already starting the job in other cities including Metro Manila.
The activation of the 4G Network in Davao would also mean de-activation of the old 2G Network. Subscribers with 2G phones need not worry about it since the new network is always backwards compatible.
In a trial test speed conducted on Friday, March 23 an average of 5Mbps was obtained in the city.
The new network modernization program is undertaken by Huawei of China and Alcatel-Lucent of Germany.
In order to prove that this new network is actually working, Globe invited selected media and bloggers from Manila and Davao to do an amazing race called “Racing Amplified” where seven team were engaged to compete in the race. Each team had to visit top tourist destinations in the city and check in using the apps FourSquare and Twitter. We were all given iPhone 4s to use during the race.
During the race, Globe has proven that it has a strong 4G signal in most parts of the city, however coverage in the outskirts has yet to improve as we can hardly get a signal at times. Still, this is good news for Globe subscribers in Davao City who are always in need of mobile broadband.