Globe rolls out small cells technology in Boracay

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Mobile operator Globe Telecom announced that is reinforcing its network strength by deploying advanced small cell technologies.

A small base station deploys localized coverage of 3G, LTE and WiFi signals with fiber backhaul of as much as 1 Gbps, providing up to three times better data experience than normal outdoor sites
A small base station deploys localized coverage of 3G, LTE and WiFi signals with fiber backhaul of as much as 1 Gbps, providing up to three times better data experience than normal outdoor sites

In 2014, Globe partnered with Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) to roll out wireless modern network technologies in the Visayas and Mindanao areas to improve coverage and data capacity to meet increasing consumer demand.

Included in the rollout are increased fiber backhaul, use of integrated macro, and micro-cell technologies with primary consideration for landscape and tourism potential of the region.

In May 2015, Boracay Island was chosen as the initial rollout area for advanced small cell technologies. Globe fired up additional 3G, LTE, WiFi and the first outdoor small cells in the Philippines during the LaBoracay summer revelry at the first weekend of May.

Robert Tan, chief technical advisor of Globe, said current technologies introduced by Globe in Boracay can deploy speeds of at least 5 Mbps, and up to 100 Mbps on WiFi, significantly improving its data speeds from last year.

On the other hand, the small cells — mini-base stations using lower transmit power strategically positioned around the island — can support multiple technologies, including 3G and LTE.

At the time of LaBoracay, a huge portion of data traffic in the island was offloaded to small cells, with speeds clocking in at more than 40 Mbps on WiFi and at least 20 Mbps on LTE. On 3G, the volume of voice calls and data usage grew by 104% and 16%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of users on 3G also increased by 51% and for LTE, 109%. As sampled from two popular restaurant-bars during peak hours, LTE download speeds were monitored at 12.94 Mbps, while uploading reached 13.58 Mbps.

Tan noted that traditional hardware such as regular macro cells cannot easily deliver the same amount of data capacity in high-foot traffic areas.

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