Heritage Hotel, June 10, 2011, Pasay City, Philippines – The Ballroom at the Heritage Hotel was nearly full to the rafters. There was a big stage with wide screens. Smoke machines and lights filled the whole stage with a fog and light show that heralded the debut of Globe’s newest brand ambassador Filipino-Swiss Formula One racer Marlon Stockinger – and his brand – the Tattoo Tonino Lamborghini: Globe’s HSPA+ device that can deliver up broadband speeds up to 10 mbps. And all this for around P2,199 per month under an Unlimited Data plan bundled with a 200 sms to TM and Globe or their MyFi Device, which can deliver speeds up to 5 mbps, just added 50 pesos per month.
All the hoopla and fanfare sort of reminds one of the Victory Parades done by Russia celebrating their win over Nazi Germany in World War II. It was a parade of the military might – men marching with bravado, tanks rumbling across, missile launchers slowly going down the street with military jets crossing across the skies. As the leaders of the nation look on and applaud.
In this case Brand Ambassadors replace the armies and the gadgets take the place of the weapons.
It is nearly the same … except for one thing … no victors and losers. In the middle of the war it still is propaganda – the winning of hearts and minds.
There are no victors yet in the SMART-Globe “4G” War. We are still in the uneasy prelude to the war that is about to happen. It is still a Cold War. Welcome to the “4G” networks version of the arms race. Indeed, there is a build up of arms between the two sides. According to Globe, what they have done is the first commercial roll out of “4G” mobile technology. And the expansion goes on with the deployment in several sites in Metro Manila – covering sites across Marikina, Quezon City, Makati, Pasay, Las Pinas, Taguig and Manila. And Globe also announced that it would increase its “4G” presence with a continued expansion in 2012.
Meanwhile, Globe’s enemy – Smart – is not sitting idly as the Great “4G” push of Globe marches along. Inhabitants of this local area of the Web would have noticed the flurry of posts and tweets about Smarts LTE, particularly from the holiday resort place Boracay where amidst the beach and the waves Smart has been ferrying across bloggers of all sizes and shapes. Reputedly, Smart’s “4G” is also fast or even faster. And it seems less glamorized but significantly more important is that the “4G” testing has reached the shores of Manila and Cebu soon?
The Smart-Globe “4G” war is heating up and ideally this should mean we the consumers should be getting better service or in other words seamless and stable Internet. It should be that … at the least. However, one wonders if this will actually translate into more cheaper Internet and not just fast, seamless and expensive Internet experience.
But alas that is for another day. At this moment the distant thunder of war can be heard like the war drums of old. Who will emerge victorious and have their day under the Sun we shall see.