Smart targets 70% LTE coverage by year end

telecomasia.net

The Philippines' Smart Communications aims to make LTE services available in 70% of the population by the end of the year.

A recent study from JP Morgan estimates that Smart's nationwide LTE coverage reached 51.5% by the end of May, Smart VP of network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo said in a statement.

Smart, the wireless division of PLDT, said the findings show that Smart is on track to meet the targets the company stipulated in the three-year network rollout plan the operator to the National Telecommunications Commission in July last year.

The plan stated that the operator is targeting making LTE available to 95% of the company's cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.

The report also estimated Smart's average broadband speeds at 11.1Mbps on a nationwide basis, ahead of rival Globe Telecom.

Smart said it is currently re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage, while simultaneously deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites' capacity.

“We are asking for people’s patience and understanding as we are upgrading our network facilities. We assure you that we are taking steps to minimize the impact of these activities on our subscribers,” Tamayo said.

“In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices.”

To promote adoption of its LTE network the company has launched a new data package offer, Video Prime 99, that comes with 2GB of data and a subscription to the iflix and iWant TV streaming services. The offer is valid for seven days.

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