Globe Telecom, the second largest operator in the Philippines, has committed to providing LTE service, including voice, SMS and data, to 95 per cent of municipalities and cities in the country by the end of 2018, using the additional spectrum it acquired from San Miguel Corp in May.

The three-year rollout plan, submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), was one of the conditions set by the regulator in approving the co-use agreement covering the spectrum resources that Globe acquired in the joint buyout of San Miguel’s telecoms assets.

Rival PLDT made a similar commitment a week ago.

Globe said it started to implement the plan in June and is deploying about 4,500 multiband, multimode base stations.

After two months of gaining access to the new spectrum bands, Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said the company has upgraded more than 25 cell sites with 700MHz access, about 600 sites with additional 2.6GHz spectrum and 1,500 sites with additional 1.8GHz spectrum as part of the company’s commitment to improve mobile internet speeds within one year.

The operator rolled out its first base stations supporting the 700MHz band in early June and said it plans to initially roll out about 200 sites on the 700MHz band.

Globe expects about 2,200 existing cell sites, representing 30 per cent of its network nationwide, will be upgraded using the additional spectrum from the co-use agreement.

“We are confident that our strategy of combining new site builds with efficient use of spectrum resources and adopting new broadband wireless technologies such as LTE-Advanced will allow us to satisfy the changing needs of our mobile customers,” Castelo said.

Globe is also pursuing its fixed broadband expansion programme, he said, noting that the company is committed to providing ultra fast internet in two million households in more than 20,000 towns by 2020.