Smart starts LTE network expansion in Metro Manila to boost coverage

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Philippines —

PLDT Inc.’s Smart Communications has launched a major network expansion in Metro Manila in a bid to improve services—with special focus on high-speed mobile internet.


Smart said the rollout over the next three months would significantly boost its LTE and 3G mobile data services across all 17 of the cities and municipalities of Metro Manila.


In a statement over the weekend, the wireless subsidiary of PLDT, Inc. said the new base station equipment will be rolled out in 2,500 cell sites across Metro Manila that use low-frequency bands such as 700 megahertz (MHz), 850 MHz, and 900 MHz for its LTE and 3G services. These frequency bands typically cover a larger area and provide better indoor signals.


“Smart is rolling out the fastest and most powerful mobile data network in the country and we are focused on improving indoor coverage since we know that people use mobile internet services mostly indoors, particularly in Metro Manila—in their homes, offices, restaurants, coffee shops and the like,” Joachim Horn, chief technology and information adviser for PLDT and Smart, said in a statement.


PLDT gained access to the 700 MHz last year after sealing an agreement with Globe to buy San Miguel Corp.’s telco unit. The low frequency bands are prized for their ability to deliver internet coverage across wide areas—as well as better indoor penetration—in a more efficient manner.


“LTE provides us the right platform to bring high-speed mobile internet throughout the country. LTE facilities, with strengthened transport links, can be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced, which can provide greater capacity and faster data speeds,” added Horn.


Smart started the network overhaul program in Boracay and Metro Davao in the early part of 2016.


PLDT and Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said recent efforts are meant “to transform the PLDT and Smart network into the country’s most future-ready data infrastructure delivering a wide range of gigabit digital solutions.”