Smart Communications, a mobile unit of Philippine telecoms operator PLDT Inc., is reportedly close to completing the upgrade of more than 4,200 3G (W-CDMA) and 4G (LTE) mobile sites across the country as part of its ongoing network modernisation programme. In a statement, Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart, said: ‘Our commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission is to meet 90% municipality coverage next year for 3G and 4G mobile broadband, and we are well on track to meet this.’ According to Horn, the operator is already at 89% and is confident it will meet its 90% target early next year – citing by way of example that it has upgraded around 90% of its base stations with LTE in Metro Manila. ‘This year, we more than doubled the number of sites which are capable of LTE,’ he added.
In addition, the official noted that Smart is currently implementing what he terms a ‘second wave of upgrades’ for its LTE sites, specifically involving the installation of four-component carrier aggregation (4CC). ‘We already tried this in Boracay, and we have just completed the upgrade of Marikina, where we have upgraded all base stations with 4CC,’ Horn added, noting that ‘the benefit for the customer is much higher capacity, and much higher speeds. So, if you go to Marikina you will easily be able to achieve more than 100Mbps on your phone’.