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Mobile Internet traffic spiked during holidays

Demand for connectivity has spiked during holidays in the new normal, according to telecommunications provider Globe Telecoms.

Globe said Internet traffic steadily increased from November until the end of 2020 with a 12-percent spike in customer’s usage during Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, especially on Facebook Live and video, based on the company’s internal data.

“Virtual get-togethers, online masses, concerts, distance learning, popular online sale events like 12.12 among others, were supported by Globe’s improved network infrastructure,” it said.

For the rest of 2020, it said virtual interactive apps like Zoom and Skype were consistently used during the weekdays with a slight drop on weekends, suggesting that more of its customers use these apps for working from home and distance learning.

In response to the heavy demand for Internet connectivity in 2020, it said some 1,300 new cell sites were built in the previous year while 11,529 sites were upgraded to 4G or LTE for faster data connectivity.

This was made possible by the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” and the Joint Memorandum Circular 1 of the Anti-Red Tape Authority, and other government agencies.

“Areas needing connectivity the most were being addressed with new site builds including Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Antique, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, Aklan, Maguindanao, Cotabato, Misamis Oriental, and Davao del Oro,” Globe said.

For home broadband, it has built about 600,000 broadband lines in 2020, a 55 percent improvement from 2019.

It also touted an 80 percent 5G coverage in Metro Manila aside from its availability in 17 key cities nationwide through 1,031 sites.

To provide its customers with better mobile and broadband data speeds, Globe is set to ramp up its investments in telecommunications infrastructure in 2021 with plans to install more than two and a half times the number of fiber-to-homes compared to 2020.

For mobile, Globe plans to build 2,000 sites, including in-building solutions, partnerships with independent tower companies, and new cell sites.

“Globe will likewise continue to expand its 5G footprint as more 5G-capable devices enter the market. The aggressive rollout of 5G will happen this year in more cities and municipalities nationwide,” it said.

With a better data network in place, it said services such as Voice Over LTE and Voice Over WiFi are also seen to improve and would deliver clearer voice calls, faster call setup, and “near-zero dropped calls.”

VoLTE and VoWiFi were initially being rolled out in the National Capital Region and in other parts of Luzon and would be implemented in the Visayas and Mindanao this year.