PLDT, Inc. subsidiary Smart Communications said it is offering long-term evolution (LTE) services in Cebu for Sun subscribers.

Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice-President for Network Planning and Engineering, said the LTE service will be rolled out in 25 areas in Cebu province after completing the rollout in Metro Cebu.

“After completing Metro Cebu, we will roll out LTE to the rest of the province this year, including some of Cebu’s tourist-popular and progressive areas, such as Daanbantayan, Moalboal, Oslob, and Toledo City,” Mr. Tamayo was quoted as saying in a statement.

Mr. Tamayo added: “With our improved LTE network in Cebu, many opportunities and possibilities are now within the reach of our Cebuano Smart and Sun subscribers… Overall, we target to blanket 70% of the country’s population with LTE by the end of this year,” he added.

Mr. Tamayo however said that an LTE-capable device and SIM card will be required.

“Subscribers who have LTE phones but don’t have LTE SIMs must upgrade their SIMs to be able to maximize the LTE network,” Mr. Tamayo said. “They can swap their SIMs for free and retain their numbers.”

“We are also partnering with device vendors to make more LTE-capable handsets, especially those utilizing the 700 MHz frequency, available for those who already have LTE SIMs but who may not have an LTE device just yet,” he added.

These efforts are in line with the three-year network roll-out plan submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission in July last year, wherein Smart committed to make LTE progressively available to 95% of cities and municipalities across the country by the end of 2018.

Smart launched its LTE rollout in Metro Cebu late last year.

Smart also said the integration of the Smart and Sun mobile networks has enabled it to install more new base stations for 2G, 3G, and LTE technologies.

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