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

Nintendo faces allegations of sexual misconduct

Company is investigating

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Working at Nintendo must be a dream for every child from the 90s. However, besides the naturally steep point of entry for prospective workers in gaming, everyone has to reckon with a pervasive problem plaguing the industry: It’s just not inclusive. Like other developers, Nintendo is investigating a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations coming to light recently.

A ‘frat house’

Earlier this week, Kotaku brought a series of cases to light straight from past Nintendo of America employees. One tester, whom the report names as Hannah, reveals a litany of inappropriate sexually charged comments. While some are focused externally, like discussing which Pokémon is the best to have sex with, some comments are more targeted, like saying that it’s “a shame” that Hannah is a lesbian.

Unfortunately, the problems for women in the company only start there. Other female workers have reported cases of stalking and unwanted sexual advances, including being asked what color their panties were during company events. One called the environment a “frat house” filled with men. Pay is likewise unequal, favoring more compensation towards men than women.

Reporting inappropriate conduct isn’t welcome, either. Workers have said that they were further mistreated after they spoke to higher-ups about their issues. Perpetrators have also threatened to have their victims fired if the latter reported it. Others have also been called “overly sensitive” if they said anything against the company.

Now, Nintendo of America isn’t the only one at fault. The company outsources a chunk of its workers, including the ones reporting the issues, from a contracting company called Aerotek, which has rebranded into Aston Carter. Nintendo and Carter are currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board for harassment.

What they’re doing

For their part, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser (also via Kotaku) has stated that the company is internally investigating the claims. Previous, Nintendo has come out in support for those who reported the same type of misconduct in other companies like Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft. The entire industry is now in a reckoning.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo just bought its own animation studio

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Enterprise

South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

In hot water

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Both Apple and Google are endlessly circulating in a maelstrom of controversy surrounding their respective app stores. Last year, app developers went up against the two giants for enforcing unfair payment systems against smaller developers. Since then, the issue has raged on. Now, South Korea is going after the two companies for the same problem.

As reported by Reuters, South Korean authorities, specifically the Korea Communications Commission, have decided to investigate Apple and Google for reportedly forcing developers into adopting payment systems inside App Store and Play Store.

Unfortunately, the report does not indicate what the companies exactly did to warrant an investigation. While one can easily cast it off as forcing the system unto others, it can also encompass a failure to meet the requirements on time. Google, for example, has stated that it has (and is still willing to) cooperate with authorities to resolve the issue.

Apple, on the other hand, has not commented on the issue.

Back in 2020, Fortnite, one of the most controversial instances of the issue, was expelled from the App Store and the Play Store for going against the margins demanded by Apple and Google. Since then, other apps, like Tinder, have also seesawed their way in and out of the issue.

SEE ALSO: Google is potentially banning Tinder from Play Store

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Enterprise

Honor returns to the Philippines!

The former sub-brand is making its comeback as an independent, iconic brand

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Huawei’s former sub-brand, Honor, returns to the Philippine market. The global smartphone brand has partnered with Iridium Philippines to launch the brand and cater to the different needs of Filipino consumers.

Daniel Wang, Director of Channel Management Department of Honor Device Com., Ltd., inked a deal with Ricky Sy, President of Honor Philippines/Iridium Technologies in a contract-signing event. The ceremony marked the comeback of the technology brand, making Honor products available in the Philippines through its local partner.

On becoming an iconic brand across the globe

Honor has invested in its research and development in the past year to provide high-quality products to its consumers. The company’s main goal is to come up with innovative products, thus, it continued to develop strategic partnerships with different supply chain manufacturers.

Currently, Honor is working with Intel, AMD, MediaTek, Microsoft, and Qualcomm to provide consumers with products that are technologically advanced.

Honor is presently available in more than 100 markets across the globe. The company aims to expand in the Philippines, one of its key markets in Asia, aiming to update its portfolio to capture the high-end and general market with PC, wearables, and more.

Its biggest edge, as compared to its former parent brand, is having Google Mobile Services across its devices.

“As HONOR returns to the Philippines, we are confident that the brand will be well received by Filipino consumers. The brand’s re-entrance would also mean that HONOR products will soon become more accessible to Filipinos,” said Ricky Sy, President of HONOR Philippines.

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