Smart joins party as global LTE-Advanced deployments rise in 2014

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Smart Communications co-founder and chief wireless advisor Orlando B. Vea (first from left) during the tests of 5G LTE-A last year, where speeds reaching 209.66 mbps were recorded (see photo below) Smart Communications co-founder and chief wireless advisor Orlando B. Vea (first from left) during the tests of 5G LTE-A last year, where speeds reaching 209.66 mbps were recorded (see photo below)[/caption] LTE-A LTE-A, referred to as ?5G? by some telcos, delivers data from between 100 megabits per second (mbps) to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as 4G services. By firing up LTE-A technology on its network, Smart said it joins only a handful of carriers around the world with an LTE-A network, along with mobile operators in South Korea, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. It also comes two years after it pioneered the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G in the country. According to analyst firm ABI Research, LTE-Advanced network deployments are becoming a tangible reality in 2014. As of the end of 1Q 2014, ABI Research estimates there were about 60 LTE-Advanced trials, commitments and commercial deployments worldwide, of which 22 commitments were from Western Europe, 16 from Asia-Pacific, and 5 from North America. In addition, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is gaining market traction in 2014, providing voice services alongside LTE mobile broadband in a reliable and profitable way. ?Carrier aggregation (CA) is the most important feature of LTE-Advanced, which helps mobile carriers to utilize all spectrum resources to increase data rates,? comments Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research. ?Apart from CA, LTE-Advanced also incorporates other enhancements, like advanced antenna techniques, interference management, and efficient use of heterogeneous networks.? Globally, among the recently completed and near-term 4G spectrum auctions, about three-quarters of upcoming 4G spectrum auctions will take place in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. ?To date, most of the mobile carriers in Europe and developed countries of Asia-Pacific and Middle East have already secured 4G spectrum,? said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research. Orlando B. Vea, co-founder and chief wireless advisor of Smart, said Smart?s activation of LTE-Advanced has put the Philippines at par with the world?s most advanced countries in terms of mobile communications technology. Smart said it has started testing LTE-A across the country in August last year, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival.]]>

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