Smart’s 4G upgrade on track for mid-2012 completion

19 Jan 2012

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) yesterday released a statement saying that work to upgrade its mobile arm Smart Communications’ 4G mobile networks is on course to be completed by the middle of this year. The statement confirmed that by end-2011 it had already activated 5,000 of its 13,000 base stations, adding: ‘Smart Communications will upgrade its entire mobile phone network to [Long Term Evolution] LTE-ready status by as early as mid-2012.’ The cellco already offers a 3.5G, HSPA+ mobile internet platform and the head of PLDT/Smart’s technology group, Rolando G Pena, says that upgrading the entire network will mean that the operator ‘will be able to activate LTE or HSPA+ services at any of our base stations, depending what the market in that area requires’. He went on to say: ‘This is a major component of the PHP67.1 billion (USD1.5 billion) network modernisation of PLDT and Smart which we have accelerated and intend to complete within the year.’