Globe Telecom, the second largest operator in the Philippines, rolled out its first base station that supports its newly-acquired 700MHz spectrum, delivering download speeds of 60-100Mb/s.

The announcement comes less than a week after San Miguel Corp (SMC), which failed to find a foreign partner to launch a third mobile operator in the country, sold its telecoms assets – which include the valuable 700MHz spectrum – to Globe and PLDT for more than $1 billion.

The two operators, which together have a 99 per cent share of mobile connections, paid a total of PHP52.8 billion ($1.13 billion). SMC’s telecoms assets are valued at an estimated PHP70 billion, including liabilities of PHP17.02 billion.

The 700MHz cell site in Quezon City covers a radius of 2.2 kilometers, where Globe says it has nearly 100 LTE users with compatible devices. The operator plans to initially roll out about 200 sites on the 700MHz band.

According to Joel Agustin, Globe’s SVP for program governance at its technical network group, users of phones that are not compatible with LTE will benefit from the deployment of 700MHz cell sites as this will lead to decongestion on other frequencies.

Agustin said 70-80 per cent of its customers are using data indoors and “we need the 700MHz spectrum to provide better coverage and stable connectivity inside homes”. He added that the 700MHz band will allow it to deploy high-capacity LTE-based wireless and fixed broadband network in rural areas, supporting its initiative to expand the reach of the internet in the country.

More devices are supporting the 700MHz band, including Samsung’s S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge and J5, Globe said.