Smart Communications, the mobile division of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is launching public beta tests of Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services in 30 sites in Metro Manila. The test phase will run until 13 February 2012 and will offer users maximum data transfer rates of 76Mbps. The head of Smart’s broadband internet and data services unit, Gio Bacareza, said the trial marks a significant step towards the full blown launch of LTE. ‘We have never stopped working on our LTE network,’ the official said. ‘We launched it in Boracay last April, we made the first Metro Manila demo in June, and today, potential customers are going to test it.’
People wishing to test the LTE network can sign up at www.smart.com.ph/bro/lte/sign-up, with triallists being selected from the list to access the internet via their laptop or desktop PC. Qualifying testers will each receive a LTE/HSPA-capable USB dongle which they can use for free in several key areas in both North and South Metro Manila until 13 February 2012.