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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Huawei garners more partnerships for HarmonyOS 2
Huawei is paying attention to its consumers
Huawei continues to struggle with its loss of Google services for mobile devices. On the brighter side of things, the company is striving for development in other departments as well.
Huawei gives the Philippines another affirmation for its commitment to developing an AI ecosystem. The announcement came at the Huawei Development Day 2021. Strategic planning made 96 percent of the local apps available in the App Gallery.
A key move in this development is their partnerships with banking and e-Commerce apps. GCash, KonsultaMD, and WishFM to name a few, are a part of the key roster for their partnerships.
Some of you may know about the strong partnership of Huawei and DICT ( Department of information and Communications). With this partnership dating back to 2018, they came up with the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC). This is a national startup competition that targets ICT solutions for real-life problems.
Lastly, the company also presented its funding programs regarding app development. They have recently invested US$ 1 Million to their recognized regions for app development. Namely, APAC, Europe, LA, Middle East, and China.
HarmonyOS 2 and Petal Nearby
At the latter part of 2021, HUAWEI will release a new version of HarmonyOS. Because of this, the “One as All, All as One” tagline is born. Easier connections between devices are expected of this update, as HarmonyOS is the operating system of their devices.
At the HDD event, the company claimed to have four breakthroughs:
- DecouopledOS and hardware
- Sharing capabilities between devices
- Smooth and low latency operation
- DevEco Studio
To know more about the four, you can watch the Huawei Developer Day 2021 and skip to the 44:39 timestamp for your convenience.
Petal Search is the search app for Huawei, this allows users to search for places and even restaurants as an example. With their latest introduction to its new channel, Petal Nearby. This is present in numerous devices in 170 countries with 50 languages available and 20 different categories.
Petal Nearby is the result of Huawei studying its consumers behaviors and their search trends. It’s a more location optimized service letting users find local businesses and restaurants based on their preferences. The results vary depending on your location. The user can change the city in case for advanced planning purposes.
Huawei is finding new ways to develop their services for its consumers. The company is doing whatever it can to survive in this competitive industry.
Apple is banning anti-China messages from engravings
In Hong Kong and Taiwan
Though a relatively small part of their repertoire, one of the more unique services that Apple offers is the ability to engrave their devices with whatever a user desires. Well, almost anything. As it turns out, the company has its limits. And, according to a new report, those limits can be political. Apple is reportedly prohibiting anti-China messages from being engraved in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
According to a research website The Citizen Lab, Apple will not engrave 1,045 keywords in mainland China. However, the company is also banning 542 keywords in Hong Kong and 397 keywords in Taiwan. Apparently, half of those blocked terms are political in nature.
Apple users can’t have any messages related to democracy, human rights, or rebellion. They also can’t engrave any keywords related to the Tiananmen Square and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong.
The censorship is problematic, of course. Though censorship is par for the course in China, Apple is implementing the same limits to Hong Kong and Taiwan, which have both declared their independence from China.
According to the report, Apple is merely agreeing to China’s demands to maintain a consistent form of revenue from the mainland. Though China is filled with other competitors, the country is still an important part of Apple’s ecosystem.
Shopee offers exclusive deals for vaccinated shoppers!
The Shopee initiative is here!
Online shopping has taken over the quarantine era, no doubt! And now, Shopee is offering exclusive digital deals for fully vaccinated individuals. With the #FullyVaxxed package under Shopee Bayanihan, provides Filipinos with bundles for personal needs. Participating brands include Hygienix, Maxi-Peel, and Skin White just to name a few.
There are more than 15 million doses administered as of the moment, with more than 10 million having their first dose. Uncertainty regarding the efficacy of these vaccines hinder some to take the vaccines. Shopee’s initiative to offer the bundle hopes to encourage unvaccinated Filipinos to take the shot for immunity.
Steps on how to register and get verified:
Sign up on the Shopee Bayanihan: #FullyVaxxed Package microsite.
Submit a photo of the vaccination card to verify the completion of two doses and a valid ID
Wait for the verification from Shopee
The package will be available until September 26, 2021. To know more about the package, you can click this link here.
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