14 Apr 2016
Filipino cellco Smart Communications announced in a release on its website that it has begun switching on faster 4G mobile data services using triple-carrier aggregation LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology, claiming a first in the Philippines. Smart – a subsidiary of telco PLDT – confirms that it has recorded LTE-A data speeds of up to 250Mbps on a live network section in tourist resort Boracay by aggregating three frequency bands.
Joachim Horn, chief technology advisor at PLDT and Smart, said: ‘Combined with our other network improvement initiatives for both our mobile and fixed line networks, the introduction of LTE-A will help boost internet services in the country and enable more Filipinos to enjoy and benefit from the fast-growing range of digital services that PLDT and Smart offer.’ He added: ‘The pace of [LTE-A] deployment will be driven by several factors, including the rate at which subscribers start using LTE-A capable devices.’ Smart has implemented LTE-A tests/pilot services since 2013 in locations including Boracay, Davao City and Makati City, and more recently the introduction of LTE-A capable devices has opened the door for its commercial rollout. Currently, tri-carrier LTE-A capable (250Mbps) devices available to Filipino users include the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, while suitable handsets from other manufacturers are expected to be available soon.