Enterprise

Globe senior advisor Dan Horan talks data cap, fiber, Netflix deal, and content creation and distribution

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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?

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Enterprise

TikTok is considering moving to the UK

Moving away from the US and China

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Since the end of last week, TikTok has scrambled to find a solution for its woes in the US. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced a definitive ban against the Chinese video-sharing platform. By the end of Sunday, the American leader pivoted and warmed up to the idea of an American acquisition led by Microsoft. Trump then gave ByteDance a 45-day deadline to reach an amenable deal between the two parties. Though presenting itself as a yes or no deal, the acquisition plan has spawned an all-new direction. Going against the American plan, TikTok is considering moving to the UK.

Reported by Britain’s The Sun, ByteDance is expected to announce a plan to establish TikTok’s headquarters in London. The expected plan is a plot twist for the Chinese company. Instead of benefiting both Microsoft and Trump, TikTok can kick both to the curb and approach a different market.

With a move to London, TikTok can potentially appease the cybersecurity concerns of all parties voting against the platform. According to the report, a move will prove beneficial to both TikTok and London. One minister was even quoted saying: “This isn’t like Huawei where there are national security concerns.”

Despite the seeming benefit of such a decision, Trump might not agree to the plan regardless. His latest directive advises TikTok to make a deal with an American corporation within 45 days.

Regardless, TikTok is up for grabs. Wherever TikTok plans to move (if they plan to move), both parties will stand to gain. The video-sharing platform is among one of the top apps used today.

SEE ALSO: TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

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TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing

Could it be about Instagram Reels?

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Just when you thought you’ve heard enough about TikTok for the day, the company attacks an entirely separate issue happening in the States. Recently, TikTok’s owner, ByteDance issued a few inflammatory comments against a social media rival. In a post on one of its other properties, the TikTok owner accuses Facebook of stealing and smearing.

Reported by Reuters, ByteDance issued the comments on Jinri Toutiao, a Beijing-based news aggregator that it also owns.

“ByteDance has always been committed to becoming a global company. During this process, we have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, collision and conflict of different cultures and plagiarism and smears from competitor Facebook,” the company said. [Emphasis ours.]

Though the company is currently deliberating on an acquisition deal with Microsoft, ByteDance’s recent comments are attacking another issue entirely. Last week, Facebook and a few other big tech companies entered a hearing against alleged antitrust practices in the industry. Among other things, Facebook apparently lied about copying rivals in a threat to acquire them.

ByteDance did not name any specific feature or property that Facebook owns. However, the company is likely talking about the upcoming Instagram Reels, a similar video-editing app to take on TikTok. Currently, Instagram is still testing the new app in preparation for a wider release.

The timing of the comments is, of course, interesting. Trump has currently issued a 45-day limit for TikTok to reach a deal with Microsoft’s acquisition plans.

SEE ALSO: US wants to buy TikTok from China

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Samsung is shutting down its last computer factory in China

Due to “fierce market competition”

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Samsung has a weird relationship with China. Though the brand still has substantial presence in the country, the company has wavered in its Chinese operations, seesawing between increasing and decreasing manufacturing staff. In another step in the cycle, Samsung is shutting down its last computer factory in China.

Reported by South China Morning Post, Samsung is reconsidering its presence in the country after numerous geopolitical issues between the US and China. For example, US President Trump has recently unloaded a barrage of bans and promises against popular Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok. In addition, Samsung cites “fierce market competition” as a motive for pulling out.

In the ensuing mess, the company is shutting down computer production, leaving behind semiconductor factories in other Chinese regions. Last year, it also pulled out from smartphone manufacturing in the country.

Instead of manufacturing, the site will refocus towards research and development. The factory’s staff, though affected, will receive opportunities to transfer facilities in the same country.

Despite the reduction, Samsung still remains committed to providing for the Chinese market. Earlier this year, the company even increased its operations in the memory chip segment. As for another manufacturing site, the company has eyed key locations in Vietnam, keeping its operations within the region.

Samsung has a lot of stake in maintaining its operations worldwide. The company is set to launch major devices within the next few weeks including a five-device Galaxy Unpacked event on August 5.

SEE ALSO: Samsung finally has more than 1 percent market share again in China

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