Smart on track to complete LTE rollout by end-2017

Smart on track to complete LTE rollout by end-2017

SMART Communications, Inc. said it is on track to complete the upgrade of more than 4,200 3G and long-term evolution (LTE) sites across the country by the end of the year.

“Our commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is to meet 90% municipality coverage next year for 3G and 4G mobile broadband, and we are well on-track to meet this,” Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart said in a statement.

Horn said the coverage upgrade is already at 89%, “so we will definitely meet that target early next year.” Last year, Smart’s parent PLDT, Inc. submitted to the NTC a three-year network rollout plan, promising to make LTE available to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.

“This year, we more than doubled the number of sites which are capable of LTE,” Mr. Horn said, noting 90% of Metro Manila’s sites already have LTE. Smart said improvements in Internet speed are seen in Metro Manila.

“Recent internal tests in Parañaque, for example, recorded median LTE download speeds of 17.9 megabits per second (Mbps) and median upload speeds of 12 Mbps, while median download and upload speeds of 27.6 Mbps and 16.1 Mbps, respectively, were posted in Caloocan.

In Taguig, Smart LTE recorded median download speeds of 18.6 Mbps, while median upload speeds were at 13.7 Mbps,” Smart said.

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