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    Smart LTE now covers 91-percent of PH municipalities

    MANILA, Philippines – PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continues to beef up the capacity and expand the reach and of its 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to meet the surging demand for data services across the country. This roll out also serves the purpose of laying the groundwork for the deployment of 5G.

    Smart LTE now covers 91-percent of PH municipalities

    In the first half of 2020, Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations by 10% compared to end-2019. It also increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE. As a result, 3,785 Smart base stations are now providing additional capacity for its LTE network.

    To date, Smart LTE is available in 91% of the country’s municipalities and serves 94% of the population.

    These network upgrades enabled Smart to support the 36% spike in mobile data usage during the first six months of the year, as more people worked and studied at home, and as more businesses relied on online services to continue serving their customers amid the community quarantines.

    Mobile traffic reached 1.3 Exabytes in the first half of the year, more than double the traffic in the same period last year.

    This year, Smart is also set to further increase the number of its LTE sites and availability across all municipalities.

    Among the provinces with Smart LTE sites include Northern and Central Luzon provinces like Quirino and Aurora, Southern Luzon provinces like Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon, Visayas provinces like Capiz, Guimaras and Siquijor, and Mindanao provinces like Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, to name a few.

    Smart has also deployed 4G/LTE in municipalities in remote areas of Ifugao, Mindoro, Northern Samar, and Sulu, and is ramping up its rollout in Cagayan and Isabela.

    Smart’s ongoing capacity expansion activities covering its existing sites nationwide have likewise increased the number of LTE base stations by as much as 49% in Southern Luzon, for example.

    Smart also started to rollout equipment to support 5G network, which recently went live as a commercial service.

    READ: Smart 5G goes live: handsets, coverage available

    For these network upgrade efforts, PLDT and Smart have once more been found to have the country's fastest fixed and mobile internet networks by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.

    — The Summit Express

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