Smart Communications, a mobile unit of Filipino powerhouse Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), has activated its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Baguio City in Northern Luzon. Smart official Rolando Pena said the latest rollout of commercial services is designed to coincide with the annual festival of Panagbenga and will allow residents of Baguio City and visitors flocking there to be ‘among the first to experience the future of mobile broadband, which is LTE.’
Smart initially rolled out its LTE network in Boracay and Cebu and has since expanded coverage to take in most parts of Metro Manila as part of the parent company’s recent announcement that it will complete its PHP67.1 billion (USD1.58 billion) network ‘transformation initiative’ by mid-2012. The modernisation project also includes plans to add more fibre to connect Smart’s base transceiver stations (BTS) to the backbone network. To date, more than 50% of the cellco’s BTS have been LTE-enabled, supported by in excess of 45,000km of fibre loops spanning mainland Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.