Monday, September 19, 2011

Smart expands high-speed wireless broadband network

Leading mobile services provider Smart Communications Inc. has fired up more than 500 wireless base stations with evolved high speed packet access (HSPA+) technology--the largest high-speed wireless broadband network in the country.

 “We now have more than three times the number of HSPA+ sites compared to just a couple of months ago. We are launching several base stations every day so don’t be surprised if you notice a sudden increase in your connection speeds,” Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea said.

The upgrades, which consist mainly of equipment from Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson, will support the rapid development of Smart’s faster broadband services and products that will offer speeds of up to 84 Mbps, the fastest wireless Internet service in the country.

 “We are transforming our network and services to meet the needs of today and of the future,” Vea added.

Earlier this year, Smart and parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) have arrived at what PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan referred to as a “Sputnik moment.”

The phrase, which was originally used by US President Barack Obama, refers to a time wherein a new round of investments must be made to take the group to the next level.

PLDT and Smart have earmarked a total of P67 billion which will be used to transform its network by modernizing and optimizing critical elements such as fiber optic cables, wireless base stations and international gateways.

In a series of speed tests conducted by independent engineering firm NESIC Philippines Inc., it was found that subscribers are already benefitting from the initial improvements in PLDT and Smart’s network.

NESIC’s speed tests showed that Smart’s connection speeds best those of its competitors by an average of 0.74 Mbps in all test locations.

Last April, Smart introduced Smart Evolution, the fastest fourth generation (4G) technology in the Philippines. Smart Evolution uses the next generation long term evolution (LTE) network which is capable of download speeds of up to 50-70 Mbps.

It was introduced in Metro Manila in June as Smart conducted the first public test during the PLDT annual stockholders’ meeting in Makati City.

 “This is only the beginning. The upgrades will continue for the next two years so everyone can expect bigger and better products and services in the near future,” Vea pointed out.

* Article from Philippine Daily Inquirer



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