Globe Telecom, one half of the Philippines’ telco duopoly, held its first Wonderful Wold with Globe event last June 24. And on the sidelines of the evening’s program that saw Netflix, Sports Illustrated, and Turner Broadcasting, among others, joining Globe’s growing list of content partners, we spoke with Globe chief advisor Dan Horan about data capping, expanding fiber-internet service in the Philippines, what the Netflix partnership will look like and mean for customers, and his company’s evolution into a content provider.
Spoiler alert: Data capping — two words you should never ever say to an avid internet user — is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Or at least as far as Globe’s mobile and broadband services are concerned. On a more positive note, Horan hinted at the likelihood that data rates would drop over time.
This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.
GadgetMatch: You introduced several new content partners this evening. How will your expanded list of streaming services affect your data-capping scheme?
Dan Horan: Obviously, over time content changes. Now, we’re seeing lots of on-demand videos. As you know, we just launched a partnership with Netflix.
One of the things that’s really important is that we’re continuously building our networks to allow services to truly operate well. Earlier, you saw speeds of up to 100Mbps, which is more than enough for video services. We’re also building our WiFi networks. In many shopping malls, you see our up-to-100Mbps WiFi connections. We offer those connections for free, and not just to Globe customers. We’re also building our broadband network, which is physically the hardest because you have to go from house to house.
All of those have different cost structures and different capabilities, and they cost a lot of money. The investment in San Miguel Corporation alone cost us three quarters of a billion U.S. dollars. As much as I would love to offer our carrier services for free, we do need to recover some money. So it’s a delicate balancing act between making our shareholders happy and getting content in the hands of consumers affordably and fast.
You’ll see over the next few months that we will start to introduce more and more data options. And in the coming years, we will be adjusting our packages and prices to allow the Filipino community to get as much content as we can give them.
Fiber expansion is a topic of interest among internet users in the country. What are your plans for the future?
We have so many new things coming. One of the things we’re working on right now is that we’re putting future builds on our website to give you an idea when fiber will be available in your area. We also have $60 million in terms of upgrades happening on a lot of existing infrastructure as we speak.
Binondo is a good example, where we installed fiber everywhere. So if you want gigabyte speeds in that area, we can give it to you finally. I can also tell you that we have a big investment right now, and within the next three or four months, you’re gonna be seeing a lot of new locations that we’ll be upgrading with fiber. In Quezon City, there will be a lot of locations.
Netflix mentioned earlier that Globe is its first partner in the Philippines. How will the deal impact consumers?
So we signed an exclusive agreement with Netflix. And what that means is that customers will soon start to see services from Globe and Netflix that won’t be available anywhere else. It will be a mixture of both content and streaming packages. I can’t be more specific, but you’ll start to see things that are currently not available in the Philippines.
Let’s talk about Globe’s transformation into an entertainment company. Is this the next crucial step for your company?
Absolutely. We don’t treat ourselves as a telco anymore. I don’t think anybody mentioned megabytes or gigabytes or things of that nature tonight. You saw stories, you saw emotions, you saw brands that bring content to life. For us, those brands go hand-in-hand with our networks. The two have to work together.
With Globe Studios (which will produce original films and shows for the company), for example, we have the ability to make our own content, which we couldn’t have done before, and deliver it to anyone, anytime, anywhere. For me, that’s where we start to think of things from a lifestyle perspective.
A big question is where Globe Studios will put the content it creates. Will it only be available on Globe portals?
No, not at all. What’s great is that we can put the content in different platforms. We can put it in the cinema, and take it from cinema to subscription and so forth. The others we can upload to YouTube; some we can put in services like Astro, HOOQ, and Netflix. What Globe Studios gives the Filipino community is a platform to create content and monetize it internationally. If we have something that’s marketable worldwide, then why not?
[irp posts=”9513″ name=”Globe Prepaid Home WiFi review”]
‘Huawei stole from us before,’ Motorola CEO says
Another nail in Huawei’s coffin
Right now, Huawei is embroiled in an international trade war. Centered around American and Chinese relations, the company is finding hostility practically everywhere it goes. According to the argument, Huawei is a cybersecurity risk instigated by China’s corporate laws. The issue’s truthiness is now one for the courts.
The evidence is few and far between. Huawei is putting its best foot forward. However, some parties are not buying it. Among all the naysayers, the US government has been the most vocal. Of note, America has already partially banned the company and encouraged others to do the same.
Besides this, the American corporate world has added its two cents in. In an interview with Fox, Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown has reminded everyone about the company’s shady dealings in the past.
In 2010, Motorola filed a suit against Huawei for stealing company secrets. According to the suit, Huawei paid several Motorola employees for the company’s more sensitive information. At the time, both companies settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Why did Motorola dig up the past? Right now, the US government can use all the ammunition that it can get. Brown uses the past to drive home a point about China’s business practices. “If you want to compete in China, you have to… turn over your intellectual property to a local alliance,” he said.
Currently, Huawei is stewing in a pot of boiling water. The company’s chief financial officer was recently arrested for shady business deals. The company is also battling various countries for rights to build infrastructure abroad.
Germany allows Huawei to build 5G infrastructure
No evidence to suggest cybersecurity risk
Over the past weeks, America has encouraged its allies to ban Huawei from building next-generation infrastructure in their respective countries. Prior to the spiteful promotional campaign, the US government partially banned the company from its shores. Tasting blood, the country is now arguing for a global ban.
Because of this campaign, several countries have considered similar bans. These countries are not empty threats. This long list includes Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Supposedly, the US even offered financial incentives if a ban was enacted. Australia and New Zealand have already banned the company from their soils.
However, some countries aren’t swayed so easily. For one, Germany has given Huawei the go-signal to build 5G architecture in the country. According to German news company Spiegel, the country’s intelligence agency found no evidence that suggests Huawei’s cybersecurity risks.
“For such serious decisions like a ban, you need proof,” Arne Schoenbohm, head of Federal Office for Information Security said. Already, all three of Germany’s major telco companies use Huawei’s hardware. None of the involved parties have found any incriminating evidence.
Of course, America argues that the risk is too much. According to the year-old argument, Huawei has the potential to act as an espionage conduit for China. Currently, the Asian country’s laws allow the government to use local companies to their advantage. The US government cannot risk its secrets.
As of late, Huawei is expanding its hold on next-generation hardware. The 5G networking landscape is currently ripe for the picking. While more countries are considering bans, Huawei has found an ally in Germany. The legalization can potentially sway more votes in Huawei’s favor.
Samsung will re-evaluate fake Supreme partnership after criticism
They incited the ire of the hypebeasts
Recently, Samsung China committed a public relations boo-boo. After launching the Galaxy A8s, the Chinese branch announced a future partnership with Supreme, the popular lifestyle brand. Unfortunately, the partnership was not with the original Supreme brand. Rather, the partnered party is Supreme Italia, a knock-off brand based in Italy. At the time, Supreme NYC (the original) and Samsung China knew about Supreme Italia’s status. Regardless, Samsung China still went for the deal.
Now, the company is re-evaluating the partnership once again. According to Samsung leaker Ice Universe, Samsung China issued a statement about the partnership. Translated from the original Mandarin, Samsung said: “Recently, Samsung Electronics announced at the Galaxy A8s conference that it will cooperate with Supreme Italia in the Chinese market. We are currently re-evaluating this cooperation, and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
Based on the original Weibo post, Samsung China received a significant amount of criticism for the snappy decision. Further, it didn’t help that Leo Lau, Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, defended the controversial decision.
Despite not having rights in the country, Supreme maintains a healthy following in China. However, because of the lack of selling rights, Chinese Supreme fans resorted to off-brands like Supreme Italia.
However, it doesn’t excuse Samsung China. With the decision, the Chinese branch has been assaulted by criticisms from both Supreme fans and Samsung’s higher brass. Regardless, the company has a lot of brand equity to lose by being associated with a knock-off brand. With a re-evaluation, the brand is working to restoring some lost credibility.
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