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Smart ramps up LTE-Advanced tests with fresh trial in Boracay

Smart ramps up LTE-Advanced tests with fresh trial in Boracay

Fortifying its position as the leader in mobile broadband services, wireless provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) ramped up network trials for LTE (Long-Term Evolution)-Advanced, the next-generation mobile network technology, in a recent field test witnessed by attendees of the Geeks on a Beach startup conference in Boracay Island, Aklan.

As shown during the conference, LTE-Advanced posted download speeds of up to 203.23 Mbps or twice as fast as current LTE peak rates of about 100 Mbps.

At this speed, a 10MB file will take less than a second to download, YouTube videos will no longer have to buffer before being viewed completely, and Skype video calls will experience almost no lags using an LTE-Advanced network.

The network trial was observed by Smart Founder and Chief Wireless Advisor Orland B. Vea, Geeks on a Beach organizer Tina Amper, and DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim.

Smart’s LTE-Advanced network tests in cooperation with equipment provider Huawei Philippines was also able to yield the same results in earlier trials in Davao City during the recent Kadayawan festival, where it reached 210.58 Mbps in download speed; and in Makati City where it posted consistent speeds of 209.66 Mbps.

“These successful tests only prove the readiness of Smart’s network for the future. We anticipate that LTE-Advanced will be well-received and applied in the same way many Filipinos embraced LTE once the right elements are in place,” Smart’s Vea said.

Smart is one of a handful of carriers around the world to begin testing LTE-Advanced, with commercial deployment only currently available in South Korea, the United Kingdom, Russia, and some South American countries.

“Just as we did with LTE, Smart is paving the way with LTE-Advanced for Philippine mobile users to get only the best and the fastest mobile Internet experience that could only come from the true leader in broadband,” Vea said. “We are excited to power a multitude of new applications through the blistering speeds brought by LTE-Advanced.”

With the ongoing tests for LTE-Advanced, Smart further cements its position as the undisputed leader in mobile broadband, with more than 2.3 million subscribers enjoying high-speed Internet connection on the go as of the second quarter of 2013.

Smart Broadband ended the second quarter with a total of 1.8 million mobile broadband subscribers, up by four percent from previous quarter’s figures. Sun Broadband, meanwhile, ended the period with over 518,000 subscribers.

As Smart’s broadband subscriber base grows, PLDT and Smart Technology Group Head Rolando Peña said the network’s robust infrastructure will be able to capably handle the increase in demand for broadband, particularly for LTE.

“The good news is we have transformed our mobile network in the past two years. LTE Advanced will work hand-in-glove with our extensive and robust fiber-powered network which, as we speak, we continue to expand and strengthen,” said Rolando Peña, Technology Group Head at PLDT and Smart.

Smart, together with parent company PLDT, operates the Philippines’ most extensive fiber network with over 71,000 kilometers of total fiber footprint, inclusive of 7,200 kilometers of international submarine fiber and over 4,000 kilometers of domestic submarine fiber.

Unlike traditional copper wires which use electricity to transmit data, fiber uses pulses of light allowing for quick and lossless uploads and downloads.

Smart’s LTE network, on the other hand, has the widest coverage across the country, with more than 1,000 sites and covering 180 cities and municipalities in the North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao areas, including all the cities located in Metro Manila.

Smart is also the only mobile operator capable of providing the entire suite of the LTE experience through broadband LTE devices for prepaid and postpaid laptop and tablet users; the latest in high-end LTE-capable smartphones for postpaid users; and affordable prepaid LTE SIMs for open-market devices.

“By combining high-speed wireless access technologies like LTE-Advanced with PLDT and Smart's extensive fiber optic network, we can provide customers with an unmatched broadband experience well into the future,” Vea added.

Source: Smart Communications

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