Smart says 92% of its cell sites in NCR now upgraded with LTE

PLDT-owned wireless firm Smart Communications said more than 92% of its cell sites in Metro Manila have already been upgraded with LTE.

The company said it has completed its most recent round of network upgrades in Metro Manila’s biggest city Quezon City, as well as in Marikina City, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon.

In areas like the cities of Manila and Makati, for example, the latest round of network improvement efforts are expected to be completed by October.

Smart said it has also deployed carrier aggregation technology across all of Metro Manila’s 17 cities and municipalities, where over 12 million Filipinos work and live.

In Quezon City and Marikina, Smart has also deployed 5-component carrier (5CC) aggregation, where speeds of more than 500 Mbps have been reached using capable devices.

Smart has deployed over 2,000 LTE sites across Metro Manila, which use low-frequency bands such as the 700 MHz band for wider coverage and better indoor penetration, and high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for additional capacity.

Smart is also installing multiple LTE base stations in existing cell sites to lay the ground for LTE-A, which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones. Carrier aggregation, on the other hand, is a feature of LTE-A that allows the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds to mobile phone users.

“In addition to our continuous investments in upgrading our network to improve customer experience in Metro Manila and across the country, we are also working with device manufacturers to make more LTE and LTE-A-capable devices available in the market,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering.

“In areas like Metro Manila where there is already a concentration of users with these devices, we are also upgrading our network capacity to better handle our customer’s ever-growing mobile data needs,” Tamayo added.

Customers can enjoy the upgraded network that Smart is putting in place in more areas with LTE and LTE-A-capable smartphones such as the Huawei P20 series, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, Huawei Mate 10, Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro, and Oppo F5, which are available with Smart.

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