Globe Telecom has signed a partnership with Pilipinas Shell in line with the telecommunications provider’s initiative to enhance network coverage and capacities for better customer experience. The collaboration would help ease challenges besetting Globe in expanding its network infrastructure in the Philippines.
Cesar Romero, president and CEO of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) and chairman of Shell Companies in the Philippines (SCiP), explained that the partnership with Globe supports the company’s drive and advocacy towards nation building by helping people connect with each other.
“Our partnership with Globe is in line with our vision for nation-building that includes developing smarter cities and smarter infrastructures,” he said. “We believe providing better connectivity is a vital component of progress.”
The collaboration with Shell is expected to help ease the growing need for more telecommunication infrastructure necessary for Globe to provide sufficient coverage and capacities. For several years now, Globe has been aggressively seeking partnership with government institutions as well as with private sector organizations in a bid to expand its network reach.
The partnership enables Globe to widen its network build amid insatiable demand for mobile services, particularly data. The collaboration also allows one of the Philippines’ leading telecommunications provider to establish GoWiFi hotspots in select Shell service stations, providing Shell customers with connectivity.
“This collaboration with Shell is a breath of fresh air considering the enormous challenges we encounter in establishing network infrastructure such as cell sites. This also supports our commitment in continuing to build a robust and reliable network for our customers’ expanding data needs,” Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu said.
“We are constantly seeking ways to improve customer experience, especially in high-traffic and strategic areas. The partnership, which we project will lead to improved mobile services, is a win-win collaboration for the two companies, benefitting both our customers,” Cu said, adding Globe is hoping to replicate such partnership with other private sector organizations.
The two companies have identified 14 Shell service stations as target sites, most of which are located along major thoroughfares and intersections. The partnership is likely to be expanded to include other sites moving forward.
Shell is also in discussion with GCash for the adoption of cashless payments using quick response (QR) codes. GCash is a mobile wallet service offered by Mynt, a financial technology company owned by Globe, Ant Financial and Ayala Corp. In August last year, GCash introduced the scan to pay feature in the GCash App, allowing customers to pay by simply scanning QR (quick response) codes of merchants using their smartphones. E-payments provide safety and convenience when shopping for goods and services as people need not carry around loads of cash anymore.
For many years now, Globe Telecom’s initiative to expand its network infrastructure has been hampered by permitting challenges. At least 25 permits are needed to put up one cell site and the permitting process takes at least eight months to complete, barring major concerns from various agencies, including local government units.
User-per-site density in the Philippines is about 2,244 based on Tower Exchange’s estimate of 21,000 total cell sites in the country against internet users of around 47.1 million. By comparison, Vietnam, which is similar in size to the Philippines, has a much lower user-per-site density of only 860 based on a total number of 55,000 cell sites against 47.3 million internet users. This statistic demonstrates the substantial number of cell site backlog in the country.