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The 3G War: A Discussion on the claims highlighted in the Smart ads

The email was from: Paterno Cobrador <det72004 @yahoo.com>

Maybe someone could verify if it’s really from Globe, like an internal memo. Begun, the 3G wars have!

The 3G War: A Discussion on the claims highlighted in the Smart ads
Alamin ang katotohanan sa likod ng mga pahayag ng Smart tungkol sa 3G!

POINT # 1:
SMART reported that they scored a perfect 30 in the NTC’s 30-point grading system used to evaluate the ability of operators to effectively and massively deploy 3G services.

Yes, Smart Communications scored 30 out of 30. However, the fact that remains unmentioned is that Globe scored a very close 29. We came up one point short simply because the NTC felt that Smart was in a better position to do a nationwide 3G rollout in the quickest time possible. There might be truth to this but the fact is that Globe is fully capable of outpacing its competitors in terms of network rollout. As evidenced by the blistering pace of our Phase 10 and 11 network rollout in 2004 and 2005 (kudos to the WNTG Phase 10 and 11 teams!), we are capable of setting the record for the quickest network rollout in town. If we see our market demanding this, we can definitely grow our 3G network faster than our competitors can.

POINT # 2:
Because they scored a perfect 30, the NTC awarded Smart a 15MHz-wide spectrum of frequencies (3 pairs of 5MHz-wide frequencies) compared to 10MHz (2 5MHz pairs) for Globe. SMART says the 15MHZ bandwidth will allow them to offer superior 3G service.

15MHz has nothing to do with quality-of-service. To operate 3G, an operator will need at least one pair of frequencies, each being 5MHz in bandwidth. Of the pair, one frequency set is used to carry upstream data, while the other is used for downstream transmissions. Smart got 3 pairs; Globe got 2. An operator with a pair of these 5MHz frequencies can serve around 20 million 3G subscribers. With 3 pairs, Smart is capable of supporting a minimum of 60 million subscribers, while Globe will be able to support 40 million. As it is, capacity for 40 million is already more than enough to serve Globe’s purposes, and Smart is unlikely to fully acquire 40 million, much less, 60 million 3G subscribers anytime soon. Also, should the need arise, an additional pair of frequencies can be obtained by Globe in the future. In short, 15MHz has nothing to do with service quality. Globe will be fully capable of offering the highest quality 3G service in spite of the 10MHz awarded to Globe. In fact, many leading 3G network operators worldwide also have 10Mhz like Globe.

POINT # 3:
Smart says that because of the perfect 30, the NTC offered them the chance to pick out the best of the frequencies up for grabs.

This is also true. Smart has the first option of selecting which frequencies it wants to use. They claim that this will allow them to offer better service since they can select the “œcleanest” and “œpurest” frequency sets allocated for 3G use.

This might be true in other markets, but not in the Philippines. In the Philippines, no matter which frequency range you select, you can almost be certain that there are other people, institutions, and entities utilizing one or two frequencies within that range. As an example, a few years back, Wi-Fi could not work well in certain places in the NCR since Wi-Fi’s 2.4GHz signals were interfering with the signals of Meralco’s transmission stations, which coincidentally also operated on the 2.4GHz band. The bottom line is that no operator can truly select a “œclean” and “œpure” set of frequencies. Even with the current 3G frequency assignments, both Globe and Smart will have to enter into negotiations with all the other parties currently utilizing or occupying the chosen frequencies, to request these other users to switch to other available frequencies. By the way, both Globe and Smart were given the sets of frequencies they each requested for.

Smart performed the country’s first 3G video call in 2000.

Yes, Smart did perform a 3G video call in 2000, but the video call was not performed on Smart’s own network, nor was it performed by Smart’s own people (In contrast, Globe’s July 2005 3G video call was carried out on Globe’s own 3G trial network, using Globe’s own 3G trial frequencies). The purported Smart video call was performed by Nokia at Smart’s headquarters in order to sell the technology to Smart. Also intriguing, Smart’s video call could not have been a “true” mobile video call as there were definitely no final-spec WCDMA (3G) handsets at that time. It was more likely that the Smart video call was simulated between two computers.

Similar demos were also being done for Globe’s technical team as well as our shareholder, Singtel. In fact, Globe Telecom, at both the business and technical levels, has been keeping a close tab on 3G very early on in the game — and it shows with how Globe has hit the ground running with impressive first-to-market trials and public demos ahead of all its competitors.

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  • i just dont get why they treat this 3G thing too biggadeal.. i mean, when video conferencing was introduced, people ddnt go ga-ga over it, eventhough that gives them more security than caller id (caller: hi, i am a dugo dugo gangmember. wrencelot: i know, what do you think of me stupid?).

    see what i mean..

    besides, computer is starting to gain its popularity as means of telecommunication AND in business.. think about it, for $10 a day (equivalent to an hour of a dogwalker in the states) im gonna answer your VOIP calls, ill write for your blog, email your business associate, send you a report, and chat online with friends.. my point is, cellphone is starting to lose its charisma.. (for me that is, im not using a cellphone for merely two years now)

  • uuuyyy… si migs, sumbungan ng bayan! hehehhe. Pwede ka nang maging “Imbestigadoooor!”

    C’mon, Globe has as much marketing brunt as Smart to throw around a 3G campaign. Why take the fight to a small scall e-mail mudsling match?

    I say to Globe: go ahead and publish your 3G claims in the papers and in billboards!

    para masaya 😉

    ka edong

  • hi wrencelot,

    i have a more positive attitude towards 3G. We’ve been the text capital of the world for many years – no contest.

    We’re at the front end of SMS apps, and even of m-commerce. The world is watching the Philippines for developments in m-commerce (I know this after answer sooooooo many e-mails from Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, US, Geneva about m-commerce in the Philippines).

    The development of 3G in the Philippines is a big deal to me because we’re going many steps forward. Besides Japan, Korea and some European countries, we’re many steps ahead of most of the world. And we have the environment to push ourselves further.

    Don’t we want to do that?

    ka edong
    forwarderer is much betterer

  • This was sent to a mailing list I’m on, not me directly. I’m sure they are coming up with a 3G ad campaign as well – this is probably just an internal memo leaked by some overzealous Globe employee.

  • Last.
    > Paterno Cobrador

    sounds like an alias.

    ka edong

  • Yup. I don’t know what his real name is, but through his email address, I believe he is this blogger: Chronicles of det7.

  • snoop! snooop talaga yang si migs!
    Imbestigadooooor ka nga! 😉

    ka edong

  • I’d rather set up a nationwide WiFi or WiMax network. I prefer to do things straight over the Internet–video conferences, VoIP calls, etc. 😉

  • telcos invest to this 3g thing like how ABS CBN make money out of PBB housemates like a milking cow..

    im not negi about about it.. just dnt see the need to cut each others throat by sending spams to people thats all..

  • To Globe’s credit, I don’t think they intended the memo to go out. Unless, it was planted!

    Here’s the continuation: The Truth Behind Globe Telecom 3G?

  • banana

    3G is a big step for any country, it would make alot of changes in our way of communication, but to make such tech advancement successful is to be able to make it mainstream, and I really dont think the filipinos can afford such big investment yet. yung GPRS nga e namamahalan pa yung mga tao magpadala ng MMS e.

  • saw the smart 3g billboard ad, ironically just a few meters away from the Globe towers.

    for the meantime, its all about the rates and quality of service.

    EQ: economy or quality?

  • name_withheld

    i would like to react to the person who posted before me. 3G is not only about video calls… 3G is a big deal since it will help revolutinize how we do business in the country… 🙂 also, you may also act like that since it has been 2 years now that you don’t have a cellphone. 🙂 even 5110 wala ka? kawawa ka naman. 😛

  • i guess i am the one he is referring to as kawawa.. you see, not having a cellphone is an option.. tsaka isa pa, internet nga on full swing na and still continues to grow pero d2 sa Philippines hndi nten ma-utilize.. nag e-ebay ka nga, pero pag bayaran na kelangna pang mag EB, asan ang virtual economy non..? me nakita ka na bang philippine merchant na tumatanngap ng credit card sa online store..? ung smart nag o offer ng 3g, ung wireless dsl nga nila d nila maayos, eh panu pa kaya sa cellphone..

    *message sent thru my ACER 17 inches LCD monitor (brandnew)

  • INQ has picked it up: http://news.inq7.net/infotech/index.php?index=1&story_id=63584. Just to clarify, I did not leak this alleged memo. I just reposted it from here.

  • RedMax

    Guys… Why bodering on 3G while WiMax is here http://www.wimaxforum.org/home well eventualy 3G and WiMax will co-exist, but for delivering realy and true broadband WiMax will spell the way. Check website for more info… Are you ready for WiMax!

  • janbrane

    3G will be a big hit few years after its debut here in the Philippines. For now, most ordinary people who has mobile phones doesnt know what 3G is.

    as usual, filipinos are very smart… once 3G will be available, downloading, video streaming & video calls will be skyrocketing….

    here’s the possible moves of the telcos:
    1 – they will have a free trial for all of its subscribers for 3 days or a week. cyempre, unannounced.
    2 – after that another trial but paid… possibly around P11/min
    3- after that, they will hav a promo like ‘3G Pal’ where you can video call your pal with 3G phone for a lower cost…

  • RedMax

    One more thing, don’t be surprise if you see a hardware units from PDA to Mobile Phones to Laptop Computer and much more to mention that are WiMax enable.

    But, I guess that Philippines are going to be late for these matters.

  • Galit sa Smart

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Smart would be unable to provide adequate service once 3G comes out.

  • Kulas

    Because they scored a perfect 30, the NTC awarded Smart a 15MHz-wide spectrum of frequencies (3 pairs of 5MHz-wide frequencies) compared to 10MHz (2 5MHz pairs) for Globe. SMART says the 15MHZ bandwidth will allow them to offer superior 3G service.

    –Right, but if I’m an international roamer and my network setting is set to automatic… surely my phone will get SMART service, right? 🙂

  • Hi Friends,

    I am a visitor to this country, please bear in mind that so many researchers have been zapped at the volume of txt msgs.

    M-commerce is the future and Phil is going to lead the world. But.. but.. innovation is must.

    more later,

  • eispan

    3G has been active in the Uk for almost 3 years now and i find it very convenient. All of the networks here have upgraded their services to 3G and it won’t be long when GSM will be phased out just like the analogue connection. 3 Mobile (Hutchinson)was the first to invest billions of pounds and it has seemed to work with big networks like Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2 following suite.

    I have been monitoring the progress of 3G in the Philippines and for me the transition is too slow. I guess the 2 big networks can’t seem to let go of their old GSM sites amid the investments they have poured into them.

    I am for 3G and have been a strong advocate amongst my mates here in the UK. It is the benchmark for future telecommunications with all the conveniences that comes along with it.

    What have we, fast internet (broadbandlike) connection that allows us to download 3gp audio and mp4 video files… all the latest music videos and music tracks dowloaded and played in an instant!

    the video calling is just a plus… how convenient this is? imagine you as a manager and you are at home on leave, and in the office thereare files that needs to be accessed. instead on trying to explain to your staff through voice calls, call via video and let them point their cameras to the monitor so you can show them how to access the files.. or even in filing cabinets or what have you… it adds up to productivity…

    of course there’s that video call home so you can see your loved ones while talking to them….

    the only drawback is that people can not lie anymore or make scapegoats… you call in to say you are sick or you are caught up in traffic or better yet your location… and all we have to do to verify this is to video call! that’s the funny side of it…

    land lines in UK also offer video calls. now the big question is HOW much will these networks charge? i pay £30 monthly with 50% being refunded every quarter as cash back… not to mention a free N70 or whatever phones they have on offer… plus the perks, my plan gives me unlimited downloads of music, videos, and news (which includes sports and weather)… can Globe and Smart offer the same equivalent? too add more, i get 500 anytime any network minutes plus 100 free texts allowance a month….

    interbet browsing using your 3G phone as modem is so easy as your ABCs… and you will be only charged for £3 for every megabyte downloaded… if you are surfing for information that is a lot… the charge will only apply if you exceed 1 mb, if not it goes off by default…

    you can watch telly programs and mobisodes in real time… so far we have 19 channels being offered in UK for £15 per month…

    people here in the UK and the rest of western europe have switched on to 3G… and it is wrong to claim that the philippines is the text capital of the world… mind you here in UK alone 32 billion text messages in 2005 alone… and 92 million texts sent in valentines day… i don’t think the philipines had reached such a record yet…

    so for you guys… go 3G NOW! by the way 4G is already in the works…

  • randyrivera


    Wow, the 3G features there in the UK are very interesting to have here likewise in the Philippines.

    But I would just like to point out why the Phil. is the Texting Capital of the World…. see the figures below.

    (These are just estimates, i don’t know the actual figures.)

    Smart (15 Million Subscribers)
    Globe (10 Million Subscribers)
    Sun (1 Million Subscrivers)

    Total Subscribers = 16 Million Users x 10 Average SMS/day = 160 Million SMS Messages on an ordinary day

    Last Valentine’s Day, multiply that twice, then roughly 320 Million Messages, now that explains why the Philippines is the “texting capital of the world”, as they say, but again this is just an estimate.

  • eispan

    @ randyrivera (though deleyed LOL)

    by this time, the 3G war between Globe and Smart has intensified with the announcement that Globe has gone 3.5G! unfortunately, there is an issue regarding the NTC giving away the lisence to operate 3G in the countree free to the big 5 telecos. this is bad for the 3G consumers coz most likely the burden of the cost will be passed on down to them (as always)…

    regarding the Philippines as the text capital of the world… well i may have thought so when i was there… but you know what? you wouldn’t believe this but we are no longer who we claim we are… the UK alone had sent a whooping 3.19 BILLION in March 2006 alone! beating the previous record of 3.11 Billion in December 2005! if that were charged as P1.00 per text, that’s Billions of revenue for the mobile giants… in the UK standard text is at 20 pence generating a monthly record profit of £638M… then again as mentioned in my previous blog, text messages are free with monthly planned tariffs. all these in spite of people here preferring to call rather than text…

    maybe there is a big probability though that the Philippines is the text capital in the whole of Asia and the Pacific region… or maybe second only to UK.. that is still something to be proud of don’t you think?

  • mk1311

    It doesn’t matter who claims what. The point is that Smart delivers. Globe likes to gloat about what they have done for the first time. In the long run, Globes maintenance sucks. Globe is like the spoiled rich kid who at the same time is the sore loser. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Globe owned and operated by the Ayalas? That’s enough said; they are the worst business people on the planet who have no heart with what they do as long as they can make a few bucks.