Smart Com­mu­ni­ca­tions claims ‘steady im­prove­ment’ in LTE down­load speeds

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - Charlee C. Delavin Imee

SMART Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Inc. on Fri­day said it posted “steady im­prove­ment” in its av­er­age down­load speeds through its Long Term Evo­lu­tion (LTE) ser­vice, cit­ing a re­cent study from J.P. Mor­gan.

In a state­ment, the wire­less sub­sidiary of PLDT, Inc. quoted an April 2017 re­port by J.P. Mor­gan as say­ing it “leads over­all LTE down­load speeds at re­gional lev­els.”

Smart said re­port was based on the ac­tual mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence of OpenSig­nal app users. The app al­lows users to run their own speed tests. A copy of the J.P. Mor­gan re­port was not pro­vided.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, Smart de­liv­ered an av­er­age LTE down­load speed of 10.91 megabits per sec­ond (Mbps) from De­cem­ber 2016 to Fe­bru­ary 2017. It also av­er­aged 11.76 Mbps in Metro Manila, 8.56 Mbps in South Lu­zon, and 10.42 Mbps in the Visayas in the same pe­riod.

The wire­less gi­ant said it also led in terms of av­er­age 3G down­load speeds at the coun­try level (2.22 Mbps) and in Metro Manila (3.25 Mbps). Th­ese 3G fig­ures are also Smart’s high­est in the last eight test­ing pe­ri­ods of OpenSig­nal.

In its three-year net­work roll­out plan that par­ent com­pany PLDT sub­mit­ted to the Na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion in July last year, Smart said it will make LTE pro­gres­sively avail­able to 95% of the coun­try’s cities and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties by the end of 2018.

“We have made in­ten­sive cap­i­tal out­lay to ac­cel­er­ate the de­ploy­ment of LTE sites be­cause LTE sig­nif­i­cantly boosts the speed, qual­ity, and re­li­a­bil­ity of our mo­bile data ser­vice,” PLDT Chief Tech­nol­ogy and In­for­ma­tion Ad­vi­sor Joachim Horn was quoted in a state­ment as say­ing.

Smart said it is re-equip­ping its cell sites to use low-fre­quency bands such as 700 mega­hertz (MHz) and 850 MHz to pro­vide bet­ter in­door cov­er­age. It is also de­ploy­ing high-fre­quency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to in­crease the cell sites’ ca­pac­ity to han­dle mo­bile data traf­fic.

“Our net­work dom­i­nance and re­li­a­bil­ity will en­able us to de­liver a su­pe­rior dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence to Filipinos, whose ap­petite for rel­e­vant dig­i­tal con­tent is con­stantly grow­ing,” PLDT Ex­ec­u­tive Vice-Pres­i­dent and Chief Rev­enue Of­fi­cer Eric R. Al­berto added.

Smart is also start­ing to lay the foun­da­tion for fur­ther ser­vice im­prove­ments, such as LTE-Ad­vanced which can pro­vide even faster speeds and greater ca­pac­ity to sub­scribers and while boost­ing its LTE ser­vices, it con­tin­ued to for­tify its 3G net­work to bet­ter serve the ma­jor­ity of its smart­phone-own­ing sub­scribers, who are us­ing 3G hand­sets.

PLDT and Smart Chair­man and CEO Manuel V. Pangili­nan said re­cent ef­forts are meant “to trans­form the PLDT and Smart net­work into the coun­try’s most fu­ture-ready data in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­er­ing a wide range of gi­ga­bit dig­i­tal so­lu­tions.”

Hast­ings Hold­ings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Ben­e­fi­cial Trust Fund sub­sidiary Me­di­aQuest Hold­ings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philip­pine Star Group, which it con­trols. —

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