Globe Telecom says it expects around 50% of its mobile data traffic to come from its LTE network by the end of the year as it continues to expand network coverage across the Philippines.
Mobile data traffic in the first six months of the year grew 85% to 280 petabytes (PB) from 151 PB in the first six months of last year amid steady increase in smartphone penetration, currently estimated at around 67% of total mobile subscribers, Globe said.
Currently, about 43% of the company’s data traffic comes from its LTE network amid the company’s aggressive deployment of LTE sites, said Joel Agustin, senior VP for Program Governance, Network Technical Group, at Globe.
To date, Globe has close to 5,000 LTE sites across the country, utilizing the 700-MHz, 1800-MHz and 2600-MHz frequencies, with a target to increase that number by more than 600 sites by the end of the year, he said. Globe’s LTE sites are located mostly in Metro Manila and other highly-populated areas, where the majority of customers using LTE-based handsets are located.
However, Agustin added, Globe is still somewhat challenged in terms of migrating from subscribers from 3G to 4G – a significant number of Globe customers are on LTE devices but are using 3G SIMs while many others are using LTE SIMs but are on 3G devices.
“We want to encourage our customers, especially those that are already using LTE devices, to migrate to the LTE network by switching to a LTE SIM for better mobile experience,” he said. Since January this year, Globe has already migrated around 900,000 customers using LTE devices but were still using a 3G SIM, he said.