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Smart cements its leadership with commercial launch of the country’s first and only 4G LTE

Philippine wireless leader and mobile pioneer Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has affirmed its leadership in the telecoms industry as it launched the country’s first and only LTE (Long Term Evolution) service Saturday. Aptly named “Smart LTE”, the fourth generation (4G) service is now available at Plan 3500 with a 10GB allocation. It offers Filipinos wireless broadband speeds of up to 42Mbps in various locations across the country through the use of a USB dongle.

“Just as we have done in the past, we have brought the latest and the best technology closer to Filipinos,” said Smart Wireless Consumer Division Head Noel Lorenzana.

“With Smart LTE, the Philippines now has next-generation wireless services similar to those offered in more progressive countries such as the United States and Japan,” he added.

Complementing the commercial launch of Smart LTE is the installation of more than 54,000 kilometers of Fiber Optic Cabling (FOC) which connects Smart’s cellsites to its core network.

The upgraded FOC system, which is scheduled to be completed by end-2012 under the P67.1 billion “technology refresh” with parent company PLDT, also makes possible Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) fixed broadband services with speeds of up to 100Mbps.

“This combination of LTE and FTTH gives the PLDT group unmatched capabilities to serve the requirements of its customers for mobile and fixed broadband services,” said PLDT and Smart President and CEO Napoleon L. Nazareno.

Apart from offering the future of Internet connectivity to Filipinos, LTE and FTTH also have implications in nation building. A 2010 study by the World Bank says that for every 10 percent increase in broadband penetration, there is corresponding 1.38 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“That’s with 2010 technology. Imagine what LTE -- with speeds 20x faster than what was available in 2010 -- can do,” said Lorenzana.

Smart first introduced LTE in April 2011 at the resort island of Boracay. It then implemented extensive beta testing of the technology involving over 100 participants.

Smart is also the first to test 4G HSPA+ technology in the Philippines in 2009 and was the first to fire up the country’s first 3G network in 2006.

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