Smart Communications in the Philippines has deployed Ericsson’s MINI-LINK long haul product to extend its 4G LTE coverage to the country’s northernmost province of Batanes.
The LTE deployment in the rugged and mountainous terrain of Batanes involved using multiple microwave hops, including a microwave hop in the country at 128 kilometers - the longest 1.6Gbps inter-island packet microwave hop deployed by Ericsson globally, the Swedish vendor said.
The deployment, announced last week, makes Smart the first operator in the Philippines to have LTE in Batanes, said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering.
“This is part of Smart’s commitment to bring mobile internet to more than 90% of the country’s municipalities by the end of this year,” he added.
Batanes, a mini-archipelago of 10 islands, is home to more than 17,000 Filipinos. It receives an estimated 4,000 tourists a month and is on the UNESCO Tentative List for Inscription in the World Heritage List.
Apart from a boost in tourism, improved connectivity will also create opportunities for the people of Batanes, such as teachers looking to download supplementary educational materials for their students, or local businesses searching for tips on how to improve their products and services, Ericsson said.
MINI-LINK LH, Ericsson’s long-haul product in the MINI-LINK family, contains an integrated high capacity Ethernet switch and provides Native Ethernet and TDM supporting the evolution to all-IP.