Globe Telecom is investigating the possibility of using suppliers of network equipment that are not from China amid growing tensions between Huawei, the United States and other Western markets.
The revelation came from telecommunications company attorney general Froilan Castelo, who was answering questions at a Senate Public Services Committee hearing earlier this week, according to local press reports.
Losing Globe as a customer would be a big blow to Huawei, which provided 80% of its network infrastructure with the remaining 20% provided by companies like Ericsson and Nokia, Castelo told the committee. the Inquirer.net reported.
“Due to developments from the United States and Europe, we are proposing a strategy for another network based on non-Chinese telecom equipment suppliers,” Castelo said, in response to direct questions on the matter. whether the Globe board has discussed or not. continued use of Chinese suppliers and whether it plans to use more Western equipment.
The story naturally grabbed the headlines, given developments elsewhere in the world, but it’s worth pointing out that Globe doesn’t seem keen on severing ties with Huawei.
“The most advanced [5G equipment] is still Huawei, and their counterparts are roughly our estimate at around a year and a half, ”Castelo said, indicating that Globe has negotiated an agreement with the Chinese supplier for 5G, while assuring the committee that the security of the network is a priority. for the telecommunications company.
Huawei is arguably keen to protect its position with Globe, especially given that the operator has just announced what it describes as its biggest network upgrade to date.
On Thursday, the telecommunications company shared a three-pronged network update plan designed to improve voice and data services for customers on the fixed and mobile side.
First, it pledged to accelerate the construction of mobile base stations to increase coverage and capacity, through a more fluid system for obtaining building permits at the national and local levels. Its second component concerns the upgrade of all sites to LTE using different frequency bands. Finally, Globe aims to accelerate the deployment of fiber.
Globe said it expected to complete its upgrades by 2021, but did not provide many additional details. He expects investments in 2020 to reach 50.3 billion pesos (just over US $ 1 billion), “the majority of which will be devoted to his network upgrade initiatives,” he said. -he declares.
“In responding to the government’s call, we will strive to provide our customers with improved network performance and quality of service,” Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said in a pre-prepared statement.
The government has been urging Filipino telecoms operators to improve service for some time, and this summer Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte started a fire under Globe Telecom and the incumbent PLDT by threatening to seize their assets if they fail to improve the service by the end of the year.
No one knows if he would carry out this threat, but when it comes to telecoms operators, now is not really the time to look to switch providers or tear up Chinese equipment, which must be a good one. new for Huawei.