Rival Philippine operators Smart and Globe Telecom expect a rush in the uptake of cloud and data center services as well as smartphones, as they prepare for LTE deployments as early as this year.
Lloyd Manaloto, head of Smart’s broadband internet and data services, said the company will launch a commercial LTE offering “soon.” Because of that, he said usage of cloud-based services such as online storage, backup, and file sharing applications will see a spike.
Smart touts its LTE network, the only one functioning so far in the Philippines, which “in a round of beta tests earlier this year…has been proven to deliver speeds of over 100Mbps.”
“With the infrastructure set, LTE is ready for deployment,” Manaloto said. “Expect our commercial offering to come out soon.”
He said Smart is seeing a $1.6-billion network upgrade through the final stages of optimization and is ready to back up LTE technology with a network that includes over 50,000 kilometers of fiber optic cabling and the latest single radio access network.
On the other hand, SingTel affiliate Globe is also ready to LTE “later this year” and is looking at a continued rise of smartphone penetration and mobile browsing, fueled by the growing availability and affordability of more smartphone models as well as the popularity of internet browsing and social networking among Filipinos.
Smartphone usage in the Philippines has been on the rise, buoyed by the introduction of entry-level smartphone models by device manufacturers as well as China-made OEM brands at retail prices already at or even below the $100 price point.