PLDT Inc. wireless arm Smart Communications has revealed it is accelerating efforts to bolster mobile internet services for customers in Batangas, Southern Luzon, one of the Philippines’ biggest and most populous provinces. Having increased coverage and capacity of the LTE network in Batangas last year, Smart is now forging ahead with the deployment of LTE-A in the province to serve a potential three million people living there.
PLDT-Smart Senior VP for Network Planning and Engineering, Mario Tamayo, said: ‘In addition to deploying more LTE base stations, we are also adding new sites to better address needs of our customers in Batangas, particularly in major roads like the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, in points of convergence such as schools, government offices and public markets, in industrial areas, as well as in tourism sites and beach resorts.’ Additionally, the unit says it is looking to double LTE capacity in the provincial capital Lipa City, as well as increasing both coverage and capacity in Batangas City, which hosts the country’s busiest port.
At 31 December 2018 Smart had deployed approximately 16,200 LTE base stations nationwide, up 86% year-on-year, while 3G base stations rose 17% to 11,500. Taken together, the improvements have enabled the cellco to blanket around 90% of Filipinos in cities and municipalities with ultrafast mobile internet. Underpinning this network, PLDT has rolled out 244,000km of fibre infrastructure which also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity backhaul links to cellular base stations.