Globe, Curvalux bag WBA award for bridging connectivity gap

Globe, Curvalux bag WBA award for bridging connectivity gap in hard-to-reach areas

Globe and Curvalux won the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) Best Wi-Fi for Social Impact award for helping bring high-speed internet connectivity in hard-to-reach areas, especially in communities where electricity is unreliable or non-existent.

The award recognizes and celebrates innovative Wi-Fi network-based services that have been deployed on a trial or commercial basis in at least one country or market. Globe’s win was based on its scores in technical and business innovations, user-experience enhancement, and scale of market impact.

According to The World Bank’s Philippine Digital Economy Report 2020, around 57% households in the country do not have access to the internet. In the report, it mentioned that the digital divide is driven by the limited infrastructure and geographical challenges as an archipelago.

Globe, Curvalux bag WBA award for bridging connectivity gap

Thus, Globe turned to Curvalux to trial a disruptive fixed wireless broadband technology two years ago.  The goal is to provide more capacity, enable higher data rates at a longer range, reduce power consumption and ensure that customer premise equipment (CPE) is more affordable and easier to install.

“The internet has become a lifeline for many Filipinos.  This is why Globe continues to enrich its internet solutions portfolio to cover as many households as possible.  Our partnership with Curvalux will allow faster deployment of high-speed broadband to address the ever-growing demand for connectivity, particularly in hard-to-reach communities,” said Gerard Ortines, Globe Head for Network Solutions and CAPEX Management.

Curvalux uses an innovative ‘phased array multibeam broadband system’ that requires 10 times less power than traditional telecoms infrastructure and can run solely on solar energy and batteries.  It is more practical than power-hungry terrestrial antennas, which are difficult to deploy in rural areas, especially where power is limited or non-existent.

“We are privileged to work with Globe to help make a significant impact in the lives of millions of people in the Philippines that don’t have access to affordable broadband internet access. This is just the first step in fulfilling our mission to bring connectivity to billions of people around the world using our next generation Fixed Wireless Access technologies,” said Richard Pak, Chief Executive Officer of Curvalux.

The product employs an off-the-shelf Wi-Fi cpe. The Curvalux system provided speeds of up to 150Mbps for both download and upload throughput in line-of-sight at a range of 2km from the site.

The deployment of the Curvalux solution is also in line with Globe’s sustainability initiatives.  Globe has committed to upgrade and retrofit its infrastructure to make them sustainable.

“Competition in this category was tough, so congratulations are very well deserved. The $40 CPE was most impressive, demonstrating that sustainable fixed wireless access is possible and practical for hard-to-connect areas such as small islands and rural areas,” WBA Chief Executive Officer Tiago Rodrigues said.

The company ensures increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies as part of its commitment to the Race To Zero global campaign of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The initiative rallies global players to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.

With the successful trial, Globe plans to expand connectivity to thousands of low-income families across the Philippines.  The company is looking at offering fiber-like speed plans with capped or unlimited volume to customers as it moves into the commercial phase.

Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, which highlights the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. Globe is committed to upholding the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles and 10 UN SDGs.

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