WIRELESS leader Smart Communications has fired up nearly 200 new cell sites nationwide to boost its 2G capacity and improve overall mobile service to its customers as part of the effort to accelerate network deployment using its newly acquired frequencies.
By activating these cell sites, located in 656 cities and municipalities in the country, Smart has enhanced the ability of its GSM or 2G network to handle more calls and text messages, particularly in dense urban areas in Metro Manila, North Luzon, South Luzon, and in the Visayas, and Mindanao.
Smart has switched on additional facilities using the 1800 MHz frequency in 262 cell sites in Metro Manila, 883 in North Luzon, 679 in South Luzon, 116 in the Visayas, and 281 in Mindanao, improving the mobile phone experience of the roughly 70 million Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers nationwide.
The new batch of cell sites now brings to 2,221 the total number of sites currently using the 1800 MHz frequency covered by a co-use agreement with the telecoms business of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
Smart is also rapidly deploying the 700 MHz frequency to strengthen its mobile data service throughout the country, particularly via LTE (Long-Term Evolution). LTE is the fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone technology that currently provides the fastest wireless data service commercially available.
To date, Smart has fired up eight LTE cell sites using the 700 MHz spectrum. Five of these cell sites are in Davao City, with one each in Tanay, Rizal; Bacoor, Cavite; and Manggahan area in Pasig City.
Smart is also in the process of ordering the equipment, and fortifying the capacity of its transmission and other network elements, in order to support the deployment of the 700 MHz.
The low-band 700 MHz has a longer range and better indoor penetration, allowing Smart to improve the experience of LTE users and expand the coverage and enhance the capacity of its data network at a much faster pace.
Meanwhile, Smart’s additional bandwidth in the 2300 and 2600 MHz frequencies will provide the required capacity to handle current and future high-speed data traffic.
Smart plans to activate 360 LTE cell sites in the 700 MHz band this year—initially in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao—to bring LTE service to nearly 40 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2016.