Globe Telecom, the Philippine’s second largest Telecommunications service provider with over 45 million subscribers, together with Alcatel-Lucent signed last week, September 17, 2014 a confirmation of Award for the transformation of wireless network infrastructure in the Philippines — specifically in Visayas and Mindanao, upgrading it from the former’s existing WiMax to LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD ultra-broadband access technologies. For the uninitiated, Alcatel-Lucent is a French global telecommunications equipment company focusing on fixed, mobile, and converged networking hardware, IP technologies, software, and services.

Ayala Corp. President & COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala (left) signs a confirmation of award for the expansion of Globe Telecom’s ultra mobile broadband infrastructure with Alcatel Lucent CEO Michel Combs (right), as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande look on.

Ayala Corp. President & COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala (left) signs a confirmation of award for the expansion of Globe Telecom’s ultra mobile broadband infrastructure with Alcatel Lucent CEO Michel Combes (right), as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande look on.

The signing, both witnessed by Philippine President Benigno “P-Noy” Simeon Aquino III and French President François Hollande was done between Ayala Corporation‘s President & COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Michel Combes during a ceremonial event at the Élysées Palace —  while President Aquino is in France for his Official State Visit.

With this, Globe will deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) aimed to bring Ultra-Broadband Internet access throughout Philippines, while Alcatel-Lucent on the other hand will transform Globe’s existing WiMax service into a state-of-the-art 4G grade Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex (LTE TDD) and Long-Term Evolution Frequency-Division Duplexing (LTE FDD) technology to help Visayas and Mindanao regions meet the ever-increasing demand for high speed mobile Internet access.

In an overview, both LTE TDD and LTE FDD share 90 percent of their core technology, letting devices take advantage of high internet speeds regardless of what infrastructure you are on. The main difference is how these technologies connect to the network. First, LTE TDD works better with high frequency bands while LTE FDD operates on lower bands. For uploads and downloads, LTE FDD requires paired spectrum with sufficient frequency separation to allow simultaneous transmission and reception. On the other hand, LTE TDD uses a single spectrum in simultaneous transmission of downloads and uploads. This results in lesser equipment costs, while maintaining lesser network traffic. Furthermore, LTE TDD’s operating frequency bands are very similar to what a WiMax technology uses, making the latter much easier to be upgraded to the former.

“The rollout of LTE technologies will provide increased internet and fixed/wireless broadband capacity and better broadband experience for our customers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions,” said Mr. Ernest L. Cu, President and CEO of Globe Telecom. “This is particularly significant for the Visayas region which is still recovering from last year’s severe typhoon. This project also supports the Philippine government’s thrust to expand the reach of broadband internet services which has been emphasized as an area for national improvement.” He added.

In addition to these, an LTE Radio Access Network (LTE RAN) technology equipment will also be activated in approximately 1,200 sites, along with a converged Network Management System (NMS) to manage and control network equipment on an end-to-end basis from Access to the Core. Alcatel-Lucent is also providing Globe Telecom with a set of professional services to include engineering, installation, integration, and project management of these services.

Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent said that “This project not only highlights how our LTE-TDD technology is expanding, but also continues the strong momentum of mobile ultra-broadband access in the Asia-Pacific region. As a key provider of infrastructure for some of the largest LTE network deployments in the world, Alcatel-Lucent’s support for Globe Telecom’s network expansion program is a further milestone in our growing global leadership in mobile ultra-broadband access.”

When implemented, we can finally hope for better internet speeds all over the country, specially here in Cebu — all thanks to LTE TDD.