Telcos vie for additional broadband spectrum

2 Mar 2011

The Business Mirror reports that telecoms operators in the Philippines have called on the government to provide ‘adequate’ broadband spectrum and to enforce their rights policy so that their investments in high speed internet access will be protected, in turn freeing them up to continue providing uninterrupted, efficient broadband service to consumers. ‘We need additional frequencies for us to deliver a more improved broadband service. We have been asking this from the [regulator] NTC,’ officials from Globe Telecom are quoted as saying. The telecoms watchdog has reallocated sprectum in the 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands for wireless broadband but says both bands are now exhausted, with the NTC’s Edgardo Cabarios confirming ‘We have allocated almost all the frequencies under that range.’

Furthermore, the NTC argues that there is now more spectrum available in the 2100MHz band for 3G mobile services – and the same goes for 900MHz and 1800MHz bandwidths. Globe argues though that the 900/1800MHz bandwidths are currently ‘fragmented’, reducing their efficacy when it comes to the future use of mobile broadband for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. Globe’s position is mirrored by rival telco Smart. A spokesman for the firm Ramon Isberto said: ‘Spectrum is a limited resource and considering the exponential growth of broadband usage, all operators face the challenge of how to maximise whatever spectrum assigned to us. For us to continue addressing that growth in broadband, spectrum limitation will be a challenge.’ Filipino telcos are now requesting that the government reallocate the 700MHz band for broadband use since that band provides ‘the optimal combination of range and data capacity’. The NTC is thought to be considering this request.

Philippines,

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