GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. said it had upgraded 7,780 cell sites to 4G/LTE last month, 26.4% higher than the cell sites upgraded last year.

“As of September this year, Globe has exceeded its performance of cell site upgrades with 7,780 or a 26.4%  increase compared to the number of cell sites upgraded last year.  The cell sites are now 4G LTE ready to give customers faster connectivity and better mobile experience,” Globe said in an e-mailed statement.

Globe said it has put up 593 new towers since January.

“In terms of bringing connectivity to challenged areas, the company has installed more cell sites in parts of Davao Oriental, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Bukidnon, South Cotabato, Maguindanao, Davao Oriental, Isabela. Ilocos Sur, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Southern Leyte, Capiz, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Metro Manila, and Rizal with no or weak signal,” the listed mobile network operator said.

“This effectively expands the coverage of Globe to more locations nationwide,” it added.

Joel R. Agustin, Globe senior vice president for program delivery, network technical group, said: “We are committed to fulfilling our network upgrades and expansion program to improve the connectivity in the country and bring better data experience to our customers. We have regarded the various community lockdowns, not as concerns but challenges to deliver more and make the best of the opportunities given to us.”

Telcos are hoping to improve connectivity in remote areas soon in response to the “new normal” caused by the pandemic.

Telcos have said the goal is achievable with the stimulus legislation that reduces the requirements for permits needed to put up and operate cellular towers.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently signed Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II), an economic stimulus program that grants the government the power to simplify the permit process for building cell towers. — Arjay L. Balinbin