PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. said it was on track to complete the rollout of more than 4,200 long-term evolution (LTE) sites across the country by early next year.
Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart, said in a statement that the modernization of the LTE sites nationwide was part of a commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover 90 percent of municipalities with 3G and 4G mobile broadband.
“[W]e are well on track to meet this. We are already at about 89 percent, so we will definitely meet that target early next year,” he said.
Horn noted 90 percent of Smart’s sites in Metro Manila already have LTE.
Smart said improvement was already being seen in some parts of Metro Manila such as in Parañaque where the firm recorded median LTE download speeds of 17.9 megabits per second (Mbps) and median upload speeds of 12 Mbps.
In Caloocan, Smart recorded median download and upload speeds of 27.6 Mbps and 16.1 Mbps, respectively, while in Taguig, Smart LTE posted median download speeds of 18.6 Mbps and median upload speeds of 13.7 Mbps.
Horn said Smart would continue its modernization plan with a “second wave of upgrades” for its LTE sites-four-component carrier aggregation, or 4CC.
Carrier aggregation allows for the combination two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds to mobile users, he explaned.
Horn said users would need to shift to LTE SIMs to experience faster speeds and greater capacity.
“We already tried this in Boracayand we have just completed the upgrade of Marikina, where we have upgraded all base stations with 4-carrier aggregation,” he said.
“We are starting in Marikina but our intention is to roll this out in Metro Manila in steps. And the next area is Quezon City.”