Smart all-set to activate first LTE service in PH on Aug. 25

Marking a milestone for the Philippine telecom industry, Smart Communications has formally announced that it will launch on August 25 the country’s first Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology.

The announcement comes after a year of LTE test deployments conducted by PLDT’s wireless subsidiary in various parts of the country.

“Come August 25th, the Philippines joins the growing ranks of countries offering high-speed mobile broadband via LTE. This will be a boon to our customers and help power the country’s development,” said Smart President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno.

“The Philippines’ first and only LTE service is here and it’s running on Smart’s ‘super-charged’ mobile network,” said Smart chief wireless adviser Orlando B. Vea.

The public can take part in the launch by downloading an e-invite www.smart.com.ph/lte.

Smart said its LTE service is capable of delivering data wirelessly at speeds of up to 42 Mbps. This makes possible downloading large files in minutes instead of hours, streaming high definition videos with no buffering, and playing online games with no lag because of its high speed and low latency.

“LTE provides the cutting edge for our mobile broadband network which is also equipped with HSPA+, HSPA and 3G facilities,” said Smart wireless consumer division head Emmanuel Lorenzana. “This combination of wireless broadband technologies enables Smart to provide customers with unmatched mobile broadband services in more parts of the country.”

Smart’s LTE deployment was made possible by the PLDT Group’s P67.1-billion network technology refresh program which has replaced the base station equipment in all of Smart’s over 9,500 base stations nationwide with 4G-ready facilities.

“This enables us to quickly and easily expand our LTE network depending on market demand,” Vea said.

This program has also strengthened the PLDT Group’s fiber optic networks and overseas fiber optic cable systems to ensure that high-speed broadband services offered via LTE will be fully supported.

Several LTE sites located in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Boracay have already been active months prior to the commercial launch.

To date, Smart LTE has powered several events such as the Sinulog Festival in Cebu and the Kadayawan Festival in Davao as it streamed the festivities online in full high definition.

During “The First Philippine LTE Forum” held last Aug. 13, 2012, various speakers from Smart and its technology partners Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei, and NTT Docomo showcased the many potential uses of LTE.

They cited possible applications of LTE in security and surveillance services, transportation management, health care and education.

“LTE is particularly suited for bandwidth-heavy applications that require real-time delivery of video services,” Lorenzana explained.

By bringing LTE first into the country, Smart is ahead of most of its peers within Asia-Pacific and among other countries outside of the US and Western Europe.

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