Filipino mobile network operator Smart Communications, part of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) group, has announced the ramping up of Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) tests with fresh trials in Boracay. In the tests of the next generation mobile technology the cellco said LTE-A achieved peak download speeds of 203.23Mbps – twice those experienced from current LTE equivalents. Smart says it is carrying out the LTE-A network tests in cooperation with equipment provider Huawei, noting it was able to yield the same results in earlier trials in Davao City during the recent Kadayawan festival, where it reached a peak download speed of 210.58Mbps; and in Makati City where it posted consistent speeds of 209.66Mbps.
Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando B Vea is quoted as saying: ‘These successful tests only prove the readiness of Smart’s network for the future. We anticipate that LTE-A will be well-received and applied in the same way many Filipinos embraced LTE once the right elements are in place’. The mobile operator is hoping that the ongoing trials of the technology will help it further cement 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. The unit’s Smart Broadband service ended the second quarter with a total of 1.8 million mobile broadband subscribers, up by 4% from previous quarter’s figures, while sister service Sun broadband ended the period with over 518,000 subscribers. Smart says its LTE network currently boasts 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.