What’s wrong with Globe’s 100% 4G HSPA+ coverage?

What’s wrong with Globe’s 100% 4G HSPA+ coverage?

Globe Telecom proudly announced the completion of rolling out its HSPA+ technology and that its entire network has already been equipped with 4G coverage. Although that may be the case, subscribers in different parts of Philippines are still complaining of poor connectivity from the telco. Here’s why it’s hard to verify if Globe indeed has 100% HSPA+ coverage.


Let’s first understand how a cell site (like Globe’s) works. A single tower has about 3 or 5 types of transmitters – one for EDGE, one for 3G, one for HSPA+, WiMax, and LTE. But newer equipment now combines most of these networks into just one transmitter (EDGE, 3G & HSPA+).

Each signal has a corresponding reach. For example, if EDGE has a reach of 25-kilometer radius, then 3G has about 15kms reach and LTE has about 5-10kms. This was the reason why networks needed to construct more cellsites across the country.

Here’s how the latest announcement from Globe about having all of their cell sites equipped with 4G/HSPA+ transmitters can confuse subscribers. So when their press release says “100% 4G HSPA+ coverage”, people will think that every time you get a Globe signal, that signal will no less be HSPA+, 4G or LTE. But that is not the case since people still experience EDGE and 3G at some places. If we turn it around, the same analogy applies when Globe, for some reason, announces their 100% EDGE coverage — it doesn’t mean everyone will get EDGE or better. There will still be users who’ll receive GPRS or no signal at all.



Globe’s cellsite (source: Globe)

What we think Globe has accomplished is equip all of their network towers with 4G HSPA+ transmission. That means even their tower in the Spratlys Island will have 4G HSPA+ (which used to be just EDGE and 3G).

But that’s where the disconnect lies — having all of the towers equipped with 4G HSPA+ transmission does not mean everyone who connects to those towers will get no less than an HSPA+ signal. Depending on your location and distance from the towers, you will still get either EDGE, 3G, or HSPA+. Even if you’re inside the vicinity of a cellsite, but are buried deep in the basement, chances are you’ll still have no reception.

So since delivering that kind of “ideal” service means having to build about 5X to 10X more towers across the country, what Globe is frontlining here is that their existing towers are 100% capable of providing that service ONLY to those that are within range. Basically what their press release just did was to hype up a technology and make it sound more than what it really is — something that press releases were meant to do.

With that, here’s the bottom line: Are their towers fully-equipped with 4G and HSPA+? Most likely. But does the service give the demands of their subscribers as they claim they would? We don’t think so.

What are your thoughts on the subject? More importantly, how is the signal of Globe’s supposedly HSPA+ doing in your area?

Abe Olandres contributed to this post

Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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74 Responses

  1. iphondroid says:

    100%? dito sa office namin sa intramuros 100% walang signal. lalabas ka pa para magkasignal.

  2. David Z says:

    Despite (surely) receiving criticism from many folks, Globe should at least be clear and specific to (sana) avoid confusion. Up to them.

  3. marketererrr says:

    obviously this is just what politicians do when election comes, they promise everything good but when election is done, they start to regain by stealing. Greed begets greed and the cycle goes on and on and on………….

  4. Glenn says:

    im in quezon city theres always a time(9-11PM) the internet is so slow and mobile wifi says its HSPA+

  5. Freeje says:

    So it’s just advertising hocus pocus. No nationwide coverage.

  6. Research Please says:

    Sir Kevin Bruce Francisco, HSPA+ is not 4G.
    HSPA+ is still within the realms of 3G/3.5G

    EDGE is 2G, just in case.

  7. Ayabelles says:

    What a load of bull. I live 1 km away from the nearest cell site and all I get is either 3G or EDGE

  8. pipipi says:

    parang ung time na ng-claim sila sa commercial na ung tattoo stick broadband is 4g pero hspa lang, dami pa ngorder sinabay sa totoong LTE na 4g pocket wifi ng smart, tradition na ba yan??? mkahatak lng ng subscribers?

  9. globeUser23 says:

    katabi lang sa bahay ang globe tower literally, thats about a few meters lang, pero H signal lang ang meron… be specific naman po, globe pls lang…

    • Juan says:

      100% 4G equipped does not mean everyone will get that type of signal, it just means that all their tower are now capable of that service. To The guys ranting, you may want to check your phone’s capacity to receive 2G, 3G or 4G/LTE. If you’re not equipped with an LTE sim you will never get an LTE signal. The article also explains that each cell site has different types of signals being transmitted and the one you will get depends on two things, distance from the tower and bandwidth. Distance is explained well in the article but bandwidth is not. If the LTE transmitter of a particular tower can handle say 100Gigs of data per second and that’s maxed out you will not get LTE even if stand next to the tower. Hope this enlightens some of you.

  10. 'em says:

    They may be 100% equipped but the question is are they all turned on?

  11. NetNet says:

    I’d believe that if they had LTE at the ground floor of their new building at BGC. A month ago that was a dead spot right under their noses hehe.

  12. Roy says:

    As for me I always get EDGE. Nakakainis na. Tapos may ganyang pang press release.

  13. mick says:

    Seriously? 100% coverage? Pero pag nasa loob ako ng condo namin, ground floor, wala akong kahit isang bar ng signal. Not even pang text. And another thing, they’re intentionally cofusing the subscribers.

  14. gpr says:

    Is that true? Well the cell site is just 500 meters samin pero hanggang 3g lang, not the hspa+. Thats dissapointing globe. At least hspa+ na dapat connection ko. Smartphone2x pa, panis naman internet. Buti pa ung asha 311 ko sulit ung free fb dun. Pati ung sa smart free internet ung asha 311 din gamit ko and my browser is UC.

  15. Mechakiller says:

    liar liar pants on fire! 4G HSPA+ coverage my foot!

  16. kellogs2007 says:

    make sure hspa+ modem gamet ng cp mo, den fix mo sa hspa+ ung band or 4g band,

    hnd yan bibitaw, battery mo siguradong bibitaw
    ma lolow bat dahil naka fix ung bands mo sa 4g/hspa+

  17. Ponga says:

    4g my ass! they are again fooling their subscribers and even if i receive LTE signal the connection is still disappointingly SLOW..

  18. Enya says:

    Here in Mandaluyong, & in my hometown province in Leyte, Globe’s faster & more stable HSPA+ can be felt. Way to go Globe!

  19. Yousef says:

    Very good article! This was exactly on my mind earlier. Another reason why when it comes to the better network, Smart technically wins and is by far future proof. Apart from PLDT’s span of fiber optic cables, they also own Sun Cellular which has also cell towers that can be further utilised by Smart.

  20. Lawrence says:

    I’m glad I’m not among those who complain. Most commenter just love ranting
    ranting. Sometime, I get an E signal even when my Lte network is on. I had to toggle it to get Lte. Replace sila nang reklamo, Yun Pala di Lte capable ung device nla
    nla or Baka Walang enough Lte band support ung device or di supported ng globe ung Lte bands ng device.

  21. aguy says:

    why is yugatech defending globe?

  22. Weh says:

    Lagi ngang walang signal at pahirapan pang makakuha ng HSPA+ laging 3G lang (kahit LTE sim at LTE capable naman yung note 3 ko) tuwing data ang connection ko. Lalo pa atang bumagal dahil bumalik nanaman yung free facebook nila.

  23. yoken says:

    Here in Cebu City it’s okay, I’m got HSPA+ all the time. I just switched to Globe a few days ago because I can no longer connect to Smart since they launched their free Internet, I’ve tried two sims but both can’t browse.

  24. Wala Alan says:

    I’d like to direct a question to the author of this article: Did Globe mention if they did anything to anticipate more HSPA+ users being able to connect to the network, will our average speeds be slowing down?

  25. Dinah Valencia says:

    Their internet service actually sucks and sooooooo far behind the other networks.????

  26. Hiccups says:

    At least hindi sila nagki-claim na sila ang nauna sa buong mundo magkaroon ng 5G,yun pala LTE-A naman, which is still 4G.

  27. Easy E says:

    This articke is based on what the author “thinks” so he could be right. On thr other hand, he could be completely wrong. One thing we’re sure of is Globe is lying.

  28. Ryan says:

    That’s the best way to say it. One this is true indeed. Globe is undeniably lying.

  29. SpiderWark says:

    sadyang ginawang ganyan ang wording ng press release para kung may reklamo ang mga kawawang subscribers may lusot si globe.. tae talaga mga gahaman..

  30. Chairell says:

    Agree! It just means that ALL towers of Globe has 4G. It doesn’t mean that they covered the entire Philippines with 4G. So if they have 50 cell sites in the country then it means all 50 has 4G.

    Wordsmith, huh?

  31. nemo says:

    Question is, are our phones and sim cards lte capable? Unlike the other network, I think Globe only offers lte to its postpaid subscribers. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  32. Brian says:

    Minsan mas maganda na rin magbasa ng article na full/partially opinion-based kesa puro ‘facts’ na copy-paste lng sa kung saan-saang company websites na puro sugar-coated naman.

  33. Brel says:

    I’m sure this is again an epic fail for the marketing of Globe and in a sense, the business ethics of the company itself.

    I for one have very bad experience with our past leased line subscription with Globe DSL. We gave them about 3 months to fix our Internet and they did not deliver. Then they even have the guts to ask us to pay for those 3 months without a decent connection. I hate Globe and I hope they pay for their unethical business practices. I am glad we switched to a different Internet Service provider in the office. And for myself, switching my mobile phone line provider from Globe to Smart a long time ago was the smartest thing I ever did concerning mobile connectivity.

  34. KaDenz says:

    In Tacloban, there are only a few streets with Globe signal. And in Palo, Leyte swerte ka na makakuha kahit 2G. Sa UP Technohub, which is owned by Ayala who owns Globe, wala ding 4G.

    I therefore conclude that Globe lives up to their reputation.

  35. milo says:

    talking about globe, dyan sa me robinsons pioneer malapit lang sa globe office, globe telecom plaza yong signal sa me paradahan ng jeepney, E as in Edge lang. hays!

  36. Switcher says:

    Nah, I’m switching to Smart.
    I reside in Mandaluyong, near commercial areas but the connection (2G, 3G, 4G, any kind of connection) is very poor. We had to step out of the house to properly talk to someone over the phone and mobile browsing is a pain. However, members of the household who are on Smart never had such problems.

  37. Francis Ong says:

    Everyone deserves faster internet speed at the end of the day. I feel the improvement naman however admittedly minsan hindi. Eh paano kaya yung speed ng Smart? 5G daw diba? Hahaha funny eh yung smartbro ko parang pagong!

    • jherwynne says:

      Yun nga eh. I believe instead of educating people about the “G” technology, they are using it as a marketing propaganda. :(

  38. Greg says:

    Of course you have to be within range to get a decent signal. That’s called common sense.



  40. belekoy says:

    e bat ganun kahit malakas signal ng 3G/4G samin mabagal pa din?

  41. Kurdapyo says:

    Kelan po ba lumabas ang balitang to na 4g na lahat ang towers ng globe? Yung phone ko kasi postpaid sa globe 2months na at lte capable with lte sim pero until now 3g and 2g pa rin lumalabas. Yung smart na postpaid nman ng barkada ko L lumalabas sa signal. Mabilis nga pero may times na ng didisconnect. Siguro wala tala talagang decent internet provider tong pilipinas, kaya tiis2x na lang tayo mga kababayan. Hintay2x na lang sa magagandang mangyari kung meron man.

  42. dandelionne says:

    Hello. Im in Hilongos,Leyte. I’m subscribed to Globe postpaid and my unlocked G3 has consistent H+ signal. Smart subscriber too on my unlocked iphone 5S with consistent 3G and would get H+ signal if I insert my Smart sim on my G3. Maybe it is location dependent.

  43. egay francisco says:

    Of course Globe is lying. Sa Fort na nga ako nagwwork, EDGE pa din signal ko. Another failed marketing ploy. Di po kami tanga.

  44. jherwynne says:

    I understand na lahat ng cellsites nila is 4G capable, but the question is, visible ba ito sa lahat ng lugar? Try in EDSA, considering na elevated yung train, from North to Cubao na lang, hindi pa consistent yung 3G, considering na mataas naman ang demand ng data connectivity along EDSA.

    This is another marketing strategy ng Globe. Pag nakita ng mga tao, they will tend to buy-in because of the belief na malakas na ang signal ng Globe. Of all the mobile phone users, ilan lang ang percentage na may alam sa technical aspects ng network signal? Still malaki pa rin ang market share ng mga tao na walang alam at bumibili agad para may masabi lang.

  45. bryan_mmx says:

    “now made faster and better”

    omfg! LTE speed and internet experience is worst than before they announced their FUP. F and U there is basically what they just did, f*cked up!!!

  46. puta_pepe says:

    Kung maka reklamo ang taga luzon, paano nlang kaya dito sa amin sa Mindanao? Palaging huli dito sa amin. Bwesit..

    mga ipokreto. kahit anong service provider dito ang hina. kahit dito kami sa city. F u c k!

  47. nice says:

    yugatech.. rescuing globe from its lies..

  48. Kristian says:

    Sa barangay namin sa Pangasinan (Brgy Tiep, Bani, Pangasinan), Edge ang Globe dati. By the 2nd quarter of this year, naging H+ yung signal na nasasagap ng phone ko. Average ng Internet? 6Mbps. Siguro dahil wala lang kaagaw sa bandwidth kaya mabilis?

  49. unknown says:

    Globe said that it’s network is 100% 4G…it didn’t say that it has 100% full coverage nor 100% of the PH is LTE covered… the context and understanding part is one thing, false advertisement is another… as far as I understand, Globe isn’t lying…

  50. jin says:

    i used to work for huawei(globe nemesis in visayas) there are alot of new sites and MOST(85-90%) of their sites already has 3G(except yolanda stricken areas) thats around 1k+/1200+ sites nila ang may 3G(HSDPA,HSPA+ or DC-HSDPA), though meron isang problema, luma ung antennas nila kaya mejo hindi maganda ang reception at quality

    for LTE naman mga 10% palang yan if visayas area. mostly in cities lang

    overall if you have a Globe cellsite 1-2km within your home, most probably may 3G sa inyo.

  51. cindy88 says:

    Parang masyadong bias itong article. It seems to be prepared by a competitor. Parang gawa ng smart. Or inforrmation from smart

  52. Juan says:

    100% 4G equipped does not mean everyone will get that type of signal, it just means that all their towers are now capable of that service. To The guys ranting, you may want to check your phone’s capacity to receive 2G, 3G or 4G/LTE. If you’re not equipped with an LTE sim you will never get an LTE signal. The article also explains that each cell site has different types of signals being transmitted and the one you will get depends on two things, distance from the tower and bandwidth. Distance is explained well in the article but bandwidth is not. If the LTE transmitter of a particular tower can handle say 100Gigs of data per second and that’s maxed out you will not get LTE even if stand next to the tower. Hope this enlightens some of you.

    • drew says:

      First, Both telcos are the same. They both use huawei technologies on their networks. So why compare them? Second, Sa luzon areas ang daming illegal repeaters kaya wag na kayong mgtaka kng wala kayong signal.

    • drew says:

      oh crap.. ba’t reply.. sorry @juan. New post to dapat. peace! :D

  53. samitje says:

    The Author was correct. 100% HSPA+ 4G just means that their network is equipped with the equipment but it doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have 4G, let alone HSPA+. Your connectivity or the signal you are getting depends on a lot of factor. Location, network traffic, your mobile settings and the configuration of the antennas on the towers. This is why not all of us are getting the supposed HSPA+ sgnal.

    Please keep in mind that each tower can only cater to certain number of subscribers and we need atleast 3 antennas to have 360° coverage around the tower (may need more, depending on the type of antenna used). The coverage area may also shrink if a lot of subscribers are using the network.

    From experience, i see that Smart has more outdoor towers while Globe has better indoor coverage. And we haven’t talked about network optimization and interference yet. That’s another factor that affects your signal quality. ;)

  54. drew says:

    First, Both telcos are the same. They both use huawei technologies on their networks. So why compare them? Second, Sa luzon areas ang daming illegal repeaters kaya wag na kayong mgtaka kng wala kayong signal.

    • marcus says:

      Actually no. Most of the operators in the Philippines use a myriad of equipment from different manufacturers: Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson etc.

  55. Louie says:

    I am subscribed to Globe mainly – 2 mobile lines and a dsl line. I also have Globe 4G with one of my mobile lines. I live in Metro Manila, Ortigas Center area, I notice that the 4G signal is generally weak and inconsistent. I notice this not only where I live but even when I am in different areas in the metropolis. Although majority of the time, there is a 4G signal, substantial times I find there is an absence of the signal. And most of the time, the signal is weak, between 1 to 2 bars. Right now, it is only one bar. The thing is, if its only one or two bars and I make or receive a call, the signal shifts to non4G and usually doesn’t come back after the call until a significant amount of time. I usually see it is on Edge after a call is made.

    Aside from that, the speed is slow, in general. Over several months, I have made it a habit to monitor the speed through speedtest.net. I would randomly check at different times of the day and at different places. I have never come even close to 42mbps, the most I have ever encountered was 19mbps, and it was only once. On good times I could get speeds of 7 to 8mbps. But most of the time I would say it averages around 3-4mbps. Although there are times that I don’t even get 2mbps. Once, I was at Makati, had 3 bar signal, and checking email was slow. So I would say the speed and consistency of their service is low and disappointing. So much so that I decided to get a Smart prepaid 4G stick. I could not rely on the unstable Globe 4G so I had to try smart. I have noticed I get stronger and more consistent signals from Smart and I get higher average speeds. So, I use the Globe 4G just for my phone while the Smart 4G for laptop, etc. The Smart 4G, from my experience, is more reliable hands down.
    Aside from that, Globe Customer service sucks big time. I have not had a single pleasant experience dealing with Globe Customer Service. Inefficient and incompetent through and through. I don’t mean to sound condescending but when I call or chat with their customer service for assistance, I am dumbfounded by the different levels of stupidity. I feel like I am talking at times to parrots who are not listening but just keep spouting out what is in their script regardless if it has any bearing with my complaint. I am not exaggerating, I have documentation to prove it. On the other hand, I have had to contact Smart customer service once for a technical problem. I saw a world of difference, the people I talk to from Smart sounded more intelligent, were more helpful, and were actually interactive- meaning they were listening and trying to figure out how to solve my particular problems. In contrast to Globe personnel that just stick to their scripts.
    So, why am I still with Globe when dealing with them is almost like having root canal, its because 90 percent of the people I deal with are with Globe. And from experience, texts from Smart or Sun going to Globe are sometimes delayed or never get through. I know its a globe thing because even some Globe to globe texts are late or don’t come through but to a lesser degree than it comes from a different network.

    My score:
    Globe 4G – 5 out of 10
    Customer Support – 3 out of 10
    Globe mobile – 7 out of 10
    Globe dsl – 8 out of 10

    • Glenn says:

      have you tried messaging/commenting on one of globe’s posts? you will usually get this “But tell us do you notice slight to significant improvements since your previous post?” and “For further assistance, you can report at the talk2GLOBE tab by clicking on https://www.facebook.com/globeph/app_243315415736760. ” . i usually see those on their replys. i agree on what they say is scripted and they really do stick to the scripts. i have a 3g tattoo postpaid plan and i also randomly check the speed at speedtest.net and it doesnt even reach 1mb/s during the day while im in global city, and one time it reached 6mb/s at 3 in the morning while im on quezon city.

  56. igniculus says:

    bakit so crappy ang internet signal ng globe sa metro manila unlike sa provinces napakaganda. oh the irony!

  57. buddy says:

    I’m less than 3km. from Globe’s cell site but the connection still is intermittent. I admit however that it’s way better than Smart/Sun but their network still gets congested often.

  58. MackleLess says:

    I have a Note 2 and a Note 3- on the Note 2 I almost always get HSPA+ signal wherever I go. Note 3’s LTE though of course gets limited number or places where it picks up LTE, otherwise it also almost always finds HSPA+ anywhere I go. I use both phones more often at home, where we are less than a kilometer away from a Globe cellsite. We have strong HSPA+ and LTE signal at home, in other words. Peak hours (10am-10pm) I get around 4Mbps download on HSPA+ and 2Mbps on LTE; on off peak hours (12am-6am) i get around 17Mbps on HSPA+ and 26Mbps on LTE. I can’t possibly complain.

  59. Kait says:

    Kung yung 4G non-existent, e pano pa yung 5G claim ng Smart? Mag-isip nga please.


  60. ako says:

    anung kalokohan na article to? punta kau specially dun sa remote areas para malasap nyo ang signal ng globe. much better that metro reception. what a big step for our little town having globe’s upgraded cells. i can stomach their daily cap but a great and consistent hspa+ signal in return.

  61. benjie says:

    Ang 2too mahina tlaga Ang globe hnd ka mkakasagap ng LTE signal ang kaya nya lng ibgay na signal eh,hspa at hspa+ lng na Kant nkawifi pa mas mabilis pa ata ung pagong…….smart LTE kaht 1 bar or 2 bars lng signal LTE Ang connection ko 5-6 Mbps pnkamahna pa un, 15-30 Mbps ung pnkamabilis….ung phone ko acer e600 lng ung peak speed nia eh 21mbps lng pero umaabot said 30+ ung speed na ibnbigay nia kaya try not smart LTE guys mas OK cya………

  62. Tanong lang po, based po ba sa distance? Or based sa visibility? Let’s say for example, lampas na ako sa radius by kilometer pero dahil mataas ang antenna ko, visible sa antenna ko yung malayong cell site? Makakasagap ba ako ng LTE?

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