By Ram Superable Agustin
Globe Telecom last week launched its “Air Fiber 5G” postpaid plans for home subscribers, making the Philippines the first in Southeast Asia to deploy a 5G product.
Starting next month, the 5G postpaid plans will be initially available in selected areas that include Pasig, Bulacan, and Cavite. The plans will be capped at 2TB of data, with speeds ranging from 20Mbps up to 50Mbps. The subscription fee would be P1,899 to P2,499.
“More of you will get to experience consistent speeds most of the time. Because it’s wireless, it does have its limitations, but we do feel that it is much geared towards delivering high speed broadband than the 4G technology,” said Globe Telecom CEO and president Ernest Cu.
“Every type of technology, as we move through the generations, improves upon the delivery model,” Cu added.
Cu said 5G’s low latency will enable websites to respond quicker, while its network slicing capability will allow segmentation to deliver the right amount of quality and speed. He said Globe is exploring the use of the technology not only in the home, but also for businesses both large and small.
“We in Globe see a Philippines where families’ dreams come true, businesses flourish, and the nation is admired,” said Gil Genio, Globe chief technology and information officer and chief strategy officer.
“It is a public promise that we made to connect two million households, covering 90% of the market and with a minimum broadband speed of 50 Mbps,” he added.
According to Genio, the launch of its 5G service is not due to competition but because of the exponential growth of data on its mobile network. This is the reason, he said, why the company is increasing its capital spending by P60 billion this year.
Genio explained that aside from being expensive, fiber-optic technology carries various challenges that are difficult to solve including permits, right-of-way, and road construction issues.
“As an operator, if we roll out fiber in a neighborhood but only few people will subscribe, the cost of the entire rollout can be incredibly costly. The cost therefore is also costly for the customer,” he said, adding that 5G is not weighed down by those types of problems.
With local corporations and businesses undergoing digital transformations, Genio said technologies like social media, cloud, analytics, and even Internet of Things could accelerate or improve their digital journeys.
“If we transform our home, work, and business, it can only mean good things for us, our households, and of course, our economy as a whole. We believe that in enabling this digital transformation, 5G is a critical ingredient to be able to push adoption of all of these latest technologies,” Genio said.