The APEC CEOs identified broadband connectivity as a priority among the several growth-driven areas in a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC) among the region’s top business leaders.
PwC Int’l. Ltd. Chairman Dennis Nally reported on the findings of their APEC CEO survey as “reflective of a region in transition” from intra-APEC trade outpacing global trade in 2016 to digital technology streamlining manufacturing and high-quality education increasing the ranks of the middle class.
APEC CEOs expressed in the survey that growth prospects for the region will be enhanced with improved connectivity. Of the CEOs surveyed, the highest – at 28% — went to broadband connectivity compared to new transport and maritime corridors, Trade Facilitation Agreements (TFA) and others.
“Estimates on the impact on the GDP across Asia Pacific of the 700MHz band alone, as allocated to mobile, is a tenfold increase to US$1 trillion by 2020,” said Globe General Counsel Atty. Froilan Castelo as he cited GSMA’s forecast from the harmonization of the 700/800MHz bands.
Globe Telecom is a co-member along with other telco service providers, from all over the world, of GSMA or Groupe Speciale Mobile. GSMA is an international trade body for telecommunications advocacy – representing network operators that use GSM technology for their networks.
Castelo added that in their talks with GSMA, they were informed that the Philippines was one of only two countries in the world with major issues which lie in the way of adoption of the APT (Asia Pacific Telecommunity) 700 Band Plan. One such issue is the underutilized 700MHz band.
Japan’s commitment to the APT 700 Band Plan, confirmed in April, 2012, is a model country execution by way of allocating the spectrum to different mobile operators immediately.
According to the GSMA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan allocated the 700MHz spectrum in accordance with the APT FDD Band Plan so much so that by July that year, the ministry had awarded three pairs of 10MHz x 2 to the respective license applicants.
In pursuit of similar country commitments to the APT 700 Band Plan then, GSMA had approached NTC for the release of the 700MHz spectrum and its proportionate distribution for maximized use by the Philippine telco industry but the proposal did not yield the intended result.
The major Philippine telco service providers are urging NTC to give them access to the 700MHz band as this will allow the industry to provide broadband and data services at faster speeds and in a more cost-efficient manner.
The maximized use of the 700MHz spectrum promises to be one of the driving forces in instituting broadband connectivity in conformity with the APEC’s growth directions by further developing regional economic cooperation and integration.