Globe to NTC: We didn't say upgrade causing dropped calls, delayed text

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MANILA - After the online community, it’s now the National Telecommunications Commission’s turn to get a notice from Globe Telecom Inc., which on Monday belied the regulator’s statement that the telco’s upgrade has caused the recent spate of dropped calls and delayed text messages.

"Globe is presently undergoing network transformation principally as a solution for the congestion brought about by the explosion in mobile data and inadequacy of capacity of a legacy network," Froilan Castelo, head of Globe’s Corporate and Legal Services Group said in a letter to the NTC.

He said Globe’s old network was designed to provide quality voice and SMS service on account of the subscriber demand in the early 2000s.

"However, the setting forth of a policy by the Commission several years back institutionalizing the so-called 'unli' service and the advent of new technologies - especially with the exponential increase in access of the social networking sites via mobile phones - have rendered existing mainly voice and SMS networks to be no longer adequate and sustainable," Castelo said.

He said the upgrade is meant to attune the network to the demands of time and make it future-proof not only with respect to voice and SMS, but also to mobile data as well.

In the same letter, Castelo said its network upgrade was nearing 50 percent completion.

"We are right on target to complete the change out throughout the country in first quarter of 2013," he said. 

Castelo said 2,500 of Globe’s cell sites have been swapped with the newest best-in-class infrastructure while simultaneously doubling its HSPA+ site count. The transformation has been completed in South Luzon, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Navotas, Apayao, Sulu, Tawi Tawi, Zamboanga, Sibugay, Sorsogon and Basilan. 

The change out in Quezon City will be completed by September, while that in Ortigas Business District and Makati by October November, respectively.

Globe is investing $700 million to modernize its entire network.

Gamaliel Cordoba, NTC chief, earlier said that Globe in a meeting two weeks ago admitted that its network congestion was caused by its ongoing modernization.

"We called their attention and the reasons that they are giving ay yung kanilang upgrade," Cordoba said, referring to Globe.

The NTC summoned Globe and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. after receiving consumer complaints about poor quality of service. Complaints had proliferated online, fueling rumors that Globe's upgrade was causing the congestion, instead of solving it.

Globe president Ernest Cu however responded, saying there was no truth to the rumors. "While building a new network and keeping the old one running is challenging, we are on plan and the modernized areas have yielded the results that we expect. Customers in these areas are already experiencing faster mobile browsing, quicker call connections, rare dropped calls and instant text delivery," he had said. is the online news portal of TV5, a unit of the PLDT group.