Globe reiterated its stance to provide its customers with better mobile internet services using the various frequencies it can now access through its joint buyout of the SMC telco assets. To date, Globe has fired up 20 sites using the 700 MHz frequency which were never used and stockpiled by SMC. On top of the 700 MHz, Globe also fired up 669 sites using the 2600 MHz through carrier aggregation in various parts of Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao. All these frequencies are using LTE technologies that will enable faster mobile internet browsing.
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To use these frequencies using its current network, Globe is investing bulk of its $700 million in capital expenditure this year to retrofit cell sites, purchase new antenna systems specifically for 700 MHz, and install upgrades in new software that will make the use of multiple frequencies more efficient and optimized.
“By immediately using the additional capacities from these frequencies, coupled with additional network investments, our customers in various parts of the country are starting to feel the improvements in their mobile internet experience. This only affirms the urgency to meet customers’ demands. The additional capacity can only be generated by using a new set of frequencies, sadly it is the PCC that is exerting all efforts for us to prevent using these idle frequencies,” said Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo.
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Recognizing this urgency, Globe cooperated with all regulatory bodies including the SEC, NTC, and the PCC in providing all documentary requirements and disclosures, to ensure regulators the transaction is above board. However, based on its pronouncements to the media, the PCC has decided to block the deal by declaring it is “not deemed approved”. The PCC has also accused Globe of “its refusal to cooperate”, stating that its application is deficient.
Castelo said, “The PCC is not forthright in saying what is deficient in our notice. The PCC acted in bad faith and dragged their response, saying all sorts of excuses, even going against their own rules to justify a review of the transaction that is not within their transitory provision.”
“For the PCC to subject the telcos to mob rule is appalling. By asking for public comment on a so-called ‘review of the transaction’ is highly irregular and against the rights of the private parties involved,” adds Castelo.
Contrary to the press release of the PCC, it is merely the application for TRO that was not granted in the case Globe filed against the PCC in the Court of Appeals. The case is still set for deliberation, and technically, the Court of Appeals can still issue a writ of preliminary injunction, and eventually decide the case on the merits in favor of Globe. “We are still in the initial stage of the legal proceedings”, Castelo adds.