Smart starts public LTE trial in Manila
The Philippines' Smart Communications has started taking applications for a three-month public trial of its LTE network in capital city Manila.
Smart plans to offer qualified users free access to 30 LTE sites in metro Manila, issuing them with LTE and HSPA capable dongles, the Manila Bulletin reported.
The trial will run until mid-February 2012, and serve as a beta test for the network. Users will be asked to report their experience using the network.
According to the sign-up page for the beta program, the dongle will support speeds of up to 42Mbps.
Smart first went live with its LTE network in April, becoming the first Philippine operator to launch LTE, but coverage has so far been confined to the holiday destination of Boracay.
Rival operator Globe Telecom, which is rolling out a competing HSPA+ network, has meanwhile revealed it has secured a 5 billion peso ($114.2 million) loan with a commercial banking group to fund its network modernization program.
The company also plans to borrow $590 million next year to fund the $790 million modernization project, Manila Standard Today said.