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Smart Communications marks first month as commercial LTE operator

Smart LTE

Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), the Philippines’ first and most experienced provider of Long Term Evolution (LTE) has recently marked the first 30 days of its commercial LTE offering. Launched last August 25, 2012 at the Resorts World Manila, the leading wireless services provider boasts of several milestones that it has achieved since the public unveiling.

“We have come a long way in the past 30 days,” said Smart Wireless Consumer Division Head Noel Lorenzana.

“Not only did we introduce the fastest 4G technology to Filipinos, but we improved on it by leaps and bounds,” he said.

Lorenzana notes that chief among the innovations that Smart has implemented is the introduction of LTE in several frequency bands.

Barely 2 weeks after the launch, Smart has added Band 3 (1800MHz) to its initial Band 1 (2100MHz) LTE deployment. Shortly after that, the telco has also announced that it will soon add a third band, Band 5 (850MHz), which it says will further improve the service’s reach, reliability, and resilience and will enable its subscribers to use the latest LTE devices on its network.

“By making these three bands available, this deployment ensures that the Smart network has superior coverage and capacity, and the flexibility and resiliency to serve the needs of subscribers,” said PLDT-Smart Technology Group Head Rolando G. Peña.

More importantly, the consumer enjoys the best mobile broadband experience,” Peña added.

This same level of versatility has also enabled Smart to introduce LTE in areas outside of Metro Manila such  as Tagaytay, Boracay, and Baguio as well as several Philippine festivals such as the Sinulog in Cebu, the Kadayawan in Davao, and the festival of Our Lady of Penafrancia in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

In addition to improving its LTE infrastructure, Smart will soon make “LTE for All” a reality as it prepares for more exciting offerings.

The company has recently announced that it will offer the Smart LTE Pocket WiFi device—a portable WiFi router which brings LTE connectivity closer to millions of Filipinos even to non-Smart subscribers.

“With the Smart LTE Pocket WiFi, you can already experience the power of Smart LTE even if you don’t have the latest LTE-enabled gadgets,” said Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services Head Lloyd Manaloto.

In line with offering this new device, Smart is preparing for the next step, which is to offer voice services via LTE-enabled smartphones.

On September 25, 2012 Smart successfully made the first LTE voice call and SMS in the Philippines.

From the Smart office in Cebu City, Peña, together with Smart Technology Services Division Head Mar G. Tamayo, Huawei Wireless Technology Head Li Zhi Chao, and Sun Star Cebu Business Editor Max Limpag, and Cebu Bloggers’ Society president Ruben Licera Jr. placed overseas calls and text messages over Smart’s super-charged mobile network.

“We are now in a position to offer not only high-speed data services on our LTE network, but also seamless voice and SMS services,” Peña said.  “As simple as it may sound, not all LTE operators are capable of supporting voice and text. It takes much more than just having both an LTE and a 3G network,” he added.

Smart LTE is initially offered on Plan 3500. The package includes a free LTE dongle which can be used on an unlimited basis until October 25, 2012.

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