Globe, Smart launch dueling 4G networks

Dylan Bushell-Embling
18 Apr 2011

Philippine operators Globe Telecom and Smart Communications went head-to-head on the weekend with launches of 4G mobile broadband networks.

Smart Communications went live with its LTE network in Boracay.

The company announced it has set up booths to provide hands-on demonstrations of the LTE network during a holy week beginning today.

Rollouts of the network to other areas have now commenced, Smart said, but did not provide details.

Globe Telecom meanwhile announced the commercial launch of its HSPA+ network.

The network has so far been deployed in sites across Metro Manila, and Globe said it plans to significantly expand this coverage by the end of the year and into 2012.

Globe intends to use the network to deliver mobility to subscribers of its fixed Wimax network, which the company launched in April 2009 and now covers 365 cities across the Philippines.

The operator earlier this month revealed it had raised its 2011 capex allocation by 16% to $500 million. This budget includes planned spending on its HSPA+ rollout.

The ITU in December made a statement that was seen as widening the definition of 4G to include LTE, Wimax and HSPA+, despite in October declaring that only LTE-Advanced and Wimax2 are technically true 4G standards.

Globe and Smart parent PLDT's rivalry may grow even more hot if PLDT succeeds in its attempt to acquire Digitel, which could result in a potential duopoly.

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