Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) mobile unit Smart Communications announced yesterday that in the first six months of this year, demand for mobile internet data surged by 121% to more than 15,000TB of data exchanged on its network, fuelled by the increased availability of content services now being offered by the firm. The Business Mirror notes that among its content suite are mobile music-streaming services Spinnr and Deezer, gaming service GameX and digital book deal Buqo. Further, Smart has recently announced the availability of ViewStream for Android devices, which it claims will gives local sports fans virtually buffer-free video streams of the Gilas Pilipinas games in the upcoming 2014 Fiba World Cup in September.
Smart currently leads in the deployment of ultra-high speed mobile broadband networks in the Philippines, with a 4G network comprising more than 10,000 active 4G-enabled sites situated across the country. Last week the carrier also announced that – two years after it pioneered Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the country – its evolved LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service is now live on its 4G network. As a result of the upgrade, LTE-A is now available at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City, it said, offering data transmission speeds ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as previous 4G performance. In August 2013, Smart Communications started testing LTE-A across the country, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival. ‘We are making the leap toward 5G network connectivity to deliver on the promise of the best mobile multimedia experience to users, backed by the ‘nation widest’ and most robust mobile network in the country today,’ said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B Vea, referring to the recent LTE-A activation.