Smart brings LTE, LTE-A network to Bulacan

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PLDT, Inc.’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. said it rolled out its long-term evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in several towns in Bulacan.

The telecommunications firm said in a statement on Thursday the upgraded network may be enjoyed by Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers in the cities of Malolos, San Jose Del Monte, Obando, Balagtas, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael and Pulilan. It added it is also bringing its LTE network to Doña Remedios Trinidad for the first time.

“Our network upgrades in Bulacan are part of our nationwide efforts to bring better connectivity across the country, in order to improve the lives of our customers and their families, and to enhance the productivity of Bulacan’s businesses and enterprises,” PLDT-Smart Senior Vice-President for Network Planning and Engineering Mario G. Tamayo said in the statement.

Smart noted it was able to record speeds between 40 Megabits per second (Mbps) and 70 Mbps when it tested the network using LTE-A capable devices in locations such as Malolos, San Rafael and Santa Maria.

Aside from expanding the coverage of its LTE and LTE-A network, the company is also boosting its carrier aggregation rollout, which allows users to enjoy faster speeds by combining at least two bands of radio frequencies that make for a bigger pipe with bigger capacity.

“Mobile internet experience is best experienced with LTE, and with the appropriate devices, the frequency bands and carrier aggregation that our network supports,” Mr. Tamayo added.

Smart said it already has more than 14,400 base stations that are LTE-ready all over the country as of September.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Denise A. Valdez