Smart sees faster Net with its LTE-A technology

By: Marian Z. Codilla September 15,2014 - 07:22 AM

Smart Communications. Inc. head Ramon Isberto, (right) faces the press as they recently just launched their newest LTE service. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

SMART Communications Inc. introduced, Thursday the 5th generation technology, Long-Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) which holds a promise of faster Internet connection.

Once operational, the technology will be the first to run in the Philippines and will help address the issue of slow internet speed.

The announcement was made during the Asian Carriers Conference at Shangri-la Mactan where about 1,500 delegates from telecommunication companies worldwide gathered.

A speed test showed a download speed of 130 mbps and an upload speed of 20 mb file per second.

Tests on the technology has been made since last year in the cities of Makati, Boracay, Davao and Cebu. The speed could go as fast as 150 mbps upload speed and up to 30 mb file per second.

Unlike the previous technologies from Edge to LTE, the LTE-Advanced can use more than two frequency at the same time.

“GSM operates in certain frequency, each operators in specific regions are given specific frequencies. China, Japan, Europe, America uses different frequency and they cannot use it because they use different frequency. Smart has been assigned by NTC with different sets of frequencies. When we introduced our LTE before, we used one of our frequencies but with LTE-Advanced, we will be able to use all other frequency at the same time,” said Patrick Belicena, who heads the Network Services Division.

With this promise of a higher bandwidth that comes with more frequencies that may be used, consumers won’t have to wait for their video stream to buffer and video calls will be lag-free.

However, there is no device available in the Philippines that is LTE-A ready. During the testing, Smart used a Korean-version of Samsung S4.

Ramon Isberto, public affairs head of Smart Communications, said that the device is one major key consideration to make it work for the consumer.

“We are still working it out with our handset partners. We are making ourselves ready so that when the devices will be available, we will be ready,” Isberto said.

He also said that Smart is ready for this technology which has been used in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore since they are done with their modernization plan.

“This is access technology. It can’t work if you don’t have transmission infrastructure that can support it. In our case, the PLDT group, including SMART, has expanded our modernization three years ago which included a significant portion of the transmission network in terms of fibre nationwide. Smart transmission network is the most extensive and robust in the country. Our fibre has 90,000 km. We are offering this (LTE-A) soon because the network is capable of holding the traffic,” Isberto said.

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TAGS: Internet, LTE, Smart

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