Telecommunications services in the Philippines are improving and there is data to prove it, Globe Telecom said in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's call in his State of the Nation Address. The upgrades, however, will move faster if "challenges" in the bureaucracy are addressed, the company said.
Duterte told Globe and rival Smart Communications to improve services by the end of the year. The President said he too had experienced "can't be reached" on his mobile subscription. "Kindly improve the services before December. I want to call Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Better have that line cleared," he said.
"We heed the call of the President to improve telco services," Globe Telecom said.
Globe said it earmarked $1.2 billion (P59 billion) for capital expenditures this year, "majority" of which goes to building network and capacity. The mobile version of its 5G service will launch this year after 5G for home. Internet tracker Open Signal recently ranked the Philippines fourth most improved in terms of mobile video experience.
A "long draw" process of securing permits has "hampered" the building of cell sites and laying down of fiber to homes, Globe said, adding it was hopeful a recently signed memorandum would speed up the construction of towers.
Fast data connections are crucial under the new normal, where people work and do business from home to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.
Duterte said he would enforce consumer and data protection and privacy laws to enable e-commerce. "We must run after online scammers, online transactions. We must continue to protect the Filipinos and remind the world that we are responsible stewards of data."