The Philippines' PLDT, through wireless subsidiary Smart, has commenced the rollout of LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.
The operator has initially deployed the technology in the popular tourist destination of Boracay, marking the first implementation of the technology in the Philippines.
Smart said the Boracay LTE-A network has posted speeds of up to 250Mbps. The company started testing the technology in Boracay and other locations in 2013, and has commenced the rollout now commercial devices that support LTE-A are available.
“Combined with our other network improvement initiatives for both our mobile and fixed line networks, the introduction of LTE-A will help boost internet services in the country and enable more Filipinos to enjoy and benefit from the fast-growing range of digital services that PLDT and Smart offer,” PLDT and Smart CTO and information adviser Joachim Horn said.
These initiatives include a program to integrate the networks of PLDT mobile brands Smart and Sun to improve network quality for subscribers of both. This is expected to improve the effective coverage for subscribers by anywhere from 50% to 100% depending on service area.
Horn said particular attention is being paid to enhancing 3G coverage because 90% of Smart and Sun's mobile internet users have 3G handsets.
“We are also planning ahead, in anticipation of future advances in technology. Our current investments in network facilities are already being done in a way that will enable us to be ready for 5G when it arrives sometime in 2020. For this purpose, we are working closely with NTT DoCoMo, which is one of the global pace-setters in the development of 5G,” Horn added.