Filipino cellco Smart Communications – the mobile arm of PLDT Inc. – has announced the successful trial of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology with peak throughput of 1.4Gbps by successfully combining five frequencies or ‘component carriers’ (5C) using carrier aggregation (CA) to consistently achieve data speeds in excess of 1Gbps. The cellco notes that its efforts to boost its mobile internet capacity are complemented by PLDT’s ongoing deployment of fibre and high speed DSL fixed line technologies which are also capable of delivering one-gigabit speeds.
In April 2015 Smart launched LTE-A in the resort island of Boracay using 3C carrier aggregation, and today its network there comprises 850MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz frequencies to deliver average speeds of >100Mbps. Going forward, the operator intends to deploy LTE-A base stations in major urban areas such as Metro Davao, Metro Cebu, and Metro Manila – part of Smart’s three-year plan to deliver LTE coverage to 95% of the population. The ambitious schedule also includes the option of LTE-700 using frequencies under its co-use agreement with rival Globe Telecom.