Philippine operators Globe and PLDT have wasted no time in taking advantage of their newly-acquired 700-MHz spectrum holdings.
Globe Telecom has announced it has activated the nation's first cell site that utilizes the 700-MHz band, less than a week after Globe and PLDT each acquired half of San Miguel Corporation's (SMC) telecom assets.
Globe executive Joel Agustin said the company plans an initial rollout of around 200 sites using the 700-MHz band.
“The intention is that the first batch of the 200 sites we plan to roll out will be in areas where connectivity matters most to our customers as well as in locations with high convergence of users like here in the National Capital Region,” he said.
Agustin said the 700-MHz band will be essential for the company's efforts to improve indoor data coverage and to deploy LTE-based broadband in rural areas.
PLDT separately announced that its wireless broadband unit Smart Communications will start using the 700-MHz spectrum it acquired through the SMC transaction this year as part of the accelerated deployment of its LTE service.
The operator revealed it has been holding discussions with device manufacturers to introduce more affordable LTE smartphones and tablets compatible with the 700-MHz band into the country.
Around 45% of subscribers to PLDT's two wireless brands - Smart and Sun Cellular - are now using smartphones, up from 30% in 2015. But at present the majority of these are 3G/HSPA only handsets.