PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. is upgrading its cell sites in Marikina and Quezon City starting this month as part of its network expansion and modernization program.
This upgrade is expected to improve Smart’s mobile data service, particularly LTE and 3G, and provide superior network capacity to customers who live and work in the two cities.
“By continuously upgrading our networks, we are leading the way toward improving internet and digital services for Filipinos,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
“We are doing a lot of work in our facilities so please bear with us as we execute this. From the work that we’ve already completed, our customers are already reporting much improved LTE and 3G experience. They will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” he added.
Smart’s latest round of network upgrades will be done gradually in various areas of Marikina and Quezon City. The program is being done to minimize disruption or degradation of services in the affected areas.
“We are doubling the number of our LTE equipment in Marikina and Quezon City, and expanding support for 3G as well,” Tamayo said. “By the end of our upgrades, we expect to improve the coverage of our 700 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies in the area, which will widen and improve indoor coverage, as well as increase each cell site’s capacity to handle more calls, texts and data traffic,” he added.
Smart has committed to ramp up its LTE roll out because LTE, an all-IP network, delivers superior experience for users, particularly for data. It can also be quickly upgraded to LTE-A, which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity to subscribers who are using LTE SIMs on LTE-capable handsets.
Smart is also encouraging its customers to upgrade to LTE SIMs, and working with top device makers to push more LTE handsets into the market.
Smart LTE speeds were recently cited by wireless research firm OpenSignal as the fastest in the country at 10.6 Mbps, noting that the improvement in speeds is because of Smart’s massive nationwide LTE rollout.
Smart has already finished its LTE rollout in the country’s top urban hubs Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, in the island resort of Boracay, and in Rizal province. It is currently underway in Metro Manila.
This comprehensive network modernization and expansion program is at the core of the PLDT group’s digital pivot. Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.