LIVE FROM 5G ASIA, SINGAPORE: A Globe Telecom executive explained the operator views fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G as a competitive advantage at a time when there is a land grab around home broadband customers in the Philippines.

Martha Sazon, SVP of broadband business (pictured, right), said 5G allows it to offer speeds of up to 100Mb/s and higher data allocations. The technology also enables it to reach homes faster than its rivals, she explained.

However, because 5G is a new technology, it requires careful deployment, she said.

Globe Telecom launched 5G FWA in several communities and is planning a wider rollout, but will do so gradually to “protect the user experience”.

She said a nationwide deployment of FTTH is not a practical option in the Philippines, which comprises more than 7,000 islands. Broadband penetration stands at 30 per cent, which she said is due to the high price of FTTH offerings and a limited reach in many locations.

Globe Telecom’s mix of 5G FWA and fibre also helps it avoid planning permission issues: Sazon explained it can take more than a year to gain clearance.

She said the internet is a great equaliser in the Philippines, “allowing people to live at a first-world level in a developing market” by giving them access to global job opportunities.