PLDT offers speedier Internet with TD-LTE service for homes

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By Ylexis Kyle-Michael R. Rualo In an apparent answer to criticisms that local telcos provide the ?slowest and most expensive Internet? in Asia, dominant carrier PLDT has launched a new broadband service for homes that uses the upgraded version of the LTE technology. [caption id="attachment_17577" align="aligncenter" width="620"]PLDT execs (from left) Ramon Isberto, Jun Perez, and Ariel Fermin during the press launch of Ultera PLDT execs (from left) Ramon Isberto, Jun Perez, and Ariel Fermin during the press launch of Ultera[/caption] Dubbed as ?Ultera,? the high-speed wireless Internet connection for residences was formally launched on Tuesday, April 29, at the SMX convention center in Pasay City. The latest addition to the PLDT Home family, Ultera offers up to 10 Megabits (Mbps) connection speed and a one gigabyte volume allowance per day before reverting to base speed. Although 10 Mbps is already a breakthrough in the country, compared to the reported 3.6 Mbps average connection speed in the Philippines, it is still way off from the 12.4 Mbps average Asean Internet speed and 17.5 Mbps average global Internet speed. Even with Ultera?s 10 Mbps connection speed, the Philippine is still far behind Vietnam?s 13.1 Mbps, Thailand?s 17.7 Mbps, China?s 18.3 Mbps, USA?s 22.3 Mbps, Japan?s 41.7 Mbps and Singapore?s 61.0 Mbps. Ariel Fermin, head of PLDT?s Home business, said the company has already invested sufficiently in its broadband infrastructure, allowing it offer multi-media services that require broadband speeds. Those investments, Fermin said, were made to upgrade the speed of its broadband technology. As for the cost, Fermin said the company offers its broadband services at a ?fair price? that enables it to regain its investment and maintain the business. The company?s prices are an indication of the huge amount of investment the company has made to enhance the capacity and reliability of connection speed in the country, he added. PLDT said it has invested about ?2 billion this past year on Time Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution (TDD-LTE), which has a dedicated network with an allocated bandwidth, apart from one used by mobile phones or pocket WiFi modems. Compared to its predecessor, Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution (FDD-LTE), TDD-LTE has separate frequencies for transmitting and receiving data, according to PLDT assistant vice president and head of Home fixed wireless solutions Ava Espanola. She added that FDD-LTE can be comparable to 3G technology while TDD-LTE can be likened to Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) communications standard. Espanola elaborated that there are already 228 TDD-LTE sites on-air nationwide, particularly in rural areas, which is in line with its objective to reach out to homes in outskirts and in the provinces. She highlighted that 39 percent of the total number of stations are based in South Luzon, 32 percent in North Luzon, 11 percent in Metro Manila, 10 percent in Mindanao and nine percent in Visayas. Dominador Perez Jr., PLDT-Smart head of network infrastructure build, stated that depending on how much more can be invested, the company is planning to expand to up to 1,000 sites within the year to further expand the reach of its wireless Internet services. ]]>

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