Filipino operator Smart ramps up LTE-A rollout, including 5CC

11 Sep 2018

Smart Communications, the wireless arm of Philippine telco PLDT Inc., has revealed that its in-deployment 4G upgrade programme has so far seen 60% of sites nationwide upgraded to LTE, of which 62% are already LTE-A capable. The PLDT unit saw data traffic increase by 79% in January-June 2018, compared to the same period of 2017, prompting Smart to also switch on five component channel (5CC) aggregation in Metro Manila’s biggest metropolis, Quezon City, joining Boracay and Marikina, where speeds of over 500Mbps are already achievable it says, using 5CC-capable smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in the first six months of this year PLDT Inc. said that its mobile arm deployed an additional 3,900 new LTE base stations, boosting the total number of BTS on-air by 45% to 12,600. Further, the company noted that it had bolstered its LTE-A network, by installing new sites in Batanes, Sagada and Cagayan, as well as in Palawan, Sorsogon, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Davao and Sarangani. In a statement, PLDT said: ‘With this rollout, Smart is on track to fulfil its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to provide high speed wireless data services in over 90% of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2018’. Meanwhile, in January-June 2018 PLDT increased its fibre footprint to 204,000km, rolling out over 29,000km of new cable in the period under review which it notes will ‘greatly enhance Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity fibre connections for LTE base stations’.