PLDT’s wireless arm Smart Communications plans to expand its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service with carrier aggregation to more areas of the country to push up mobile internet speeds in the Philippines in 2018.
This includes the deployment of 4-component-carrier aggregation (4CC) which can deliver data speeds of over 200 Mbps via 4CC-capable handsets, the operator said.
“This is not a test or pilot. We are bringing today 4CC to our customers as a live, commercial service that can deliver world-class mobile internet,” said Mario G. Tamayo, senior vice president for network planning and engineering of PLDT and Smart.
“We are now bringing 4CC to Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila, where LTE-A handsets are already being used,” Tamayo added.
Carrier aggregation on LTE-A involves combining two or more radio frequency bands to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds to mobile phone users. With 4CC, four separate spectrum bands are combined, resulting in much higher data speeds.
Smart was the first operator to offer LTE-A in the Philippines, starting in Boracay in April 2016. Since then, it has rolled out LTE-A to Metro Manila, Rizal, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, where customers with LTE-A capable SIMs and handsets can stream TV shows and movies without buffering and play online games without experience lag.
In late 2017, Smart and its technology partner Huawei Technologies Philippines started firing up 4CC base stations in Boracay and Marikina City, reaching speeds during internal tests of more than 300 Mbps in a single-user scenario and over 200 Mbps in a multi-user daytime set up, using Samsung’s flagship 4CC-capable smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.
Smart said its LTE-A roll out is a follow through of its accelerated expansion of its 4G LTE network over the past year.