Globe gives PH Southeast Asia’s first-ever commercial 5G fixed wireless Internet
Text, photo and video by Monsi A. Serrano
There is no stopping the digital revolution. We’ve rapidly breezed past 1G to 2G then 3G to 4G. And just when almost everybody thought it’s too good to be true, Globe proudly launched last night (June 20) at the BGC Amphitheater in Taguig City, its fifth-generation (5G) fixed wireless broadband through its Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G postpaid plans.
The excitement and curiosity building around the 5G was intense at the media launch. Many in the audience, perhaps, wanted to pinch themselves until Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu took to the stage to confirm it.
“The arrival of 5G has caused excitement in the global world of telecommunications. Today, we made a crucial step in fulfilling our goal of connecting more Filipino homes, and our vision of bringing first-world Internet to the Philippines,” Cu said.
And just like that, it’s really here through Globe’s use of the latest technology encapsulated in Huawei’s 5G CPE Pro multimode modem chipset, making the Philippines the first in Southeast Asia and most of the world to support the commercial application of the fastest Internet peak download speeds.
With the advent of Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G, Cu promised to see change in the digital experience Filipino homes. It is with this super fast Internet connection that Globe sees to reinforce the efforts of achieving the company’s goal to connect two million homes by 2020.
“This is our goal to make connectivity fast and make every home have quality time whether the children are studying, watching movie, downloading, playing games and a lot more,” said Cu.
“Prior to Air Fiber 5G, we have aggressively utilized fixed wireless solutions to connect more homes and businesses to the internet over airwaves. This strategy resulted in home broadband subscriber base increasing by 55.1% to 1.7 million in the first three months of 2019 from 1.1 million in the same period in 2016,” he added.
In the crowd, one could get a sense that Filipinos – one of the most social media-active nations in the world – are marching right into the future. After the event, though, there were mixed reactions amid the realization that the country still needs to catch up on developing telecoms infrastructure.
This is no secret to Globe as it was Cu who even admitted that while the company endeavors to connect more Filipinos at home through its Globe at Home Air Fiber 5G, he said: “There are external challenges of rolling out fiber optic cables in the country.”
The plan and the place
For this reason, the Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G postpaid plans which offer fiber-like speeds up to 100Mbps and super-sized data packages of up to 2 terabytes will be initially available only in selected areas in Pasig City, Cavite, and Bulacan.
Globe at Home Air Fiber 5G will be available to eligible customers in July 2019. Plans come at P1899 per month for up to 20Mbps, P2499 for up to 50Mbps and P2899 for up to 100Mbps. All come with up to 2TB data capacity.
“Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables which enables the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable – a task which proves to be arduous and involves securing multiple permits from local government units (LGUs),” Cu said. “The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain, causing drastic delays in fiber optic roll-out completion,” he added.
Cu said that the company has been spending over 21 percent of its annual total revenues to upgrade and expand its telecommunication and IT infrastructure since 2012.
“We have been ramping up our capital spend from P20.3 billion in 2012 to P43.3 billion in 2018, in order to provide our customers better broadband services,” he said.
In his Facebook post, Art Samaniego Jr., editor of Manila Bulletin’s Tech News, explained the cutting-edge technology employed by Globe. “5G arrives in the country via Globe using Huawei technology. HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro is the world’s first 5G multimode modem chipset. The power of the chipset enables the router to be the first to support commercial application of 4G and 5G dual-modes. It is the first to have the capacity to perform to industry benchmarks of peak 5G download speeds. The dual-mode elements allow for the device to use 4G if the 5G signal is not strong enough,” said Samaniego.
He added: “The HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro supports up to 1.6 Gbps speeds in commercial network for ultra-high definition visual communications and immersive multimedia interactions. It also utilises dedicated video channel and game accelerator channel technology for 8K media or Computer Graphic VR gaming.”
First Filipinos on 5G
That is why Cu was proud of this development as he thanked those who helped the Globe team make 5G a historical reality in the telecommunications industry in the Philippines, only the third country in Asia after Japan and South Korea to deploy 5G for commercial applications.
5G technology enables the use of Internet of Things (IoT) for today’s intelligent homes. Internet connection that is faster, more secure and with lower latency brought by 5G significantly enhanced entertainment and security systems at home, promising a digital experience that is more seamless, reliable and intuitive for the modern Filipino household.
On the sideline, Globe’s Chief Commercial Officer Albert de Larrazabal shared with THEPHILBIZNEWS the great possibilities awaiting users. “When they get to experience the 5G, it is amazing. Everything will change the way they will explore the digital world whether in home, school, office and their own business. That is the reason why we are committing to roll this out in the entire Philippines,” he said.
“The ‘geek economy’ is one of those who would be very happy to experience 5G. From writing, watching movie, downloading, developing apps and softwares and gaming, the 5G is truly a game changer,” Larrazabal said.
“Imagine if the whole country, if interconnected with 5G, then even if our geographical landscape is a challenge already, that 5G will spell the difference and we are the 3rd in Asia to have 5G next to Japan and South Korea. And for Globe Telecoms more than creating the historical move in embarking on 5G which is capital intensive, our dream to make every home and family happy and having quality connection is the best gift we can give to the Filipino people,” he said.