The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. is rolling out ultra-fast wireless broadband in rural areas as part of its response to mounting calls for faster Internet connection in the Philippines.
PLDT Home Bro Ultera is being rolled out in key areas such as Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Aurora, Cagayan, Abra and Nueva Vizcaya in Northern and Central Luzon; Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Sorsogon, and Palawan in Southern Luzon; Aklan, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bukidnon and Leyte in Visayas; and Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Agusan del Sur,Misamis Occidental, Lanao del norte and Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao.
“We’re hitting the right spot. So we want to upgrade the existing subscribers, because we really felt that they were thirsting for something faster and we felt there are Filipinos [who have]no broadband access, especially in the outskirts [of Metro Manila], in the regions. You know, doon tayo patungo [we are headed there], so those are the two key filters criteria when we deploy those base stations,” said Ariel Fermin, PLDT executive vice president and head of PLDT’s HOME business.
The company said that of the 228 TD-LTE sites, PLDT has deployed 32 percent for North Luzon, 11 percent for Metro Manila, 39 percent for South Luzon, 10 percent for Mindanao, and 9 percent for the Visayas.
PLDT’s aggressive investments in technology enabled it to lay the foundation for the launch of the HOME Bro Ultera, an ultra-fast wireless internet for the home powered by TD-LTE, or Time-Division Duplex Long-Term Evolution technology.
With a P2-billion capital outlay to develop this technological advance, PLDT HOME Bro Ultera is the country’s first foray in TD-LTE technology, an innovation that uses a dedicated network with an allocated bandwidth separate from those used by mobile phones or pocket Wifi modems.
Industry data show that the Philippines’ TD-LTE network is one of the largest in Asia Pacific with over 200 base stations. PLDT HOME’s expansion has allowed the telecommunications leader to reach into more areas while applying new technologies that provide better service, allowing Ultera to deliver unbridled Internet connection.
“The launch of PLDT HOME Bro Ultera is part of our commitment to continuously develop broadband connectivity in the country. Aside from the ongoing roll-out and enhancement of PLDT HOME Fibr and PLDT HOME DSL, the addition of PLDT HOME Bro Ultera to the PLDT HOME roster of services means that we intend to serve more areas, especially those unreached by wired technology,” Fermin said.
Faster Internet speed
PLDT HOME Bro Ultera delivers speeds that are 21 times faster than Canopy and six times faster than WiMax, the telecom giant said.
“PLDT HOME Bro Ultera is the new standard for high-speed wireless broadband services for the PLDT HOME,” said Ava Espanola, PLDT assistant vice president and head of PLDT’s HOME Fixed Wireless Solutions.
“It will provide improved Internet connections—better access to social media, movies, games, and music,” she added.
Ultera is available for customers requiring high-speed connectivity, but are unable to have access via hard-wired networks.
Since early this year, PLDT HOME has been beta testing Ultera at over 200 pilot sites nationwide, with particular emphasis in rural areas where Internet infrastructures are not as developed. Additional TD-LTE sites are being eyed in other remote areas to further improve coverage.
There are currently 450,000 HOME Bro subscribers and the company is aiming for an additional 30,000 subscribers with the roll-out of the HOME Bro Ultera.
“Our aggressive fiber expansion is what allows us to adopt new technologies such as TD-LTE for PLDT HOME Bro Ultera. PLDT’s extensive fiber network, which stands at 78,000 kilometers, remains unmatched,” Fermin said.