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Smart Begins Rolling Out 700MHz LTE

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One of the biggest news in the Philippines last week was when PLDT and Globe agreed in principle to buy out the telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corporation. With the 700MHz frequency in tow, Smart is now poised to roll out an improved LTE experience.

The US$ 1 Billion Deal

The deal, worth a little more than US$ 1 billion, gave the two telcos access to the “highly coveted” 700 MHz spectrum, a low band frequency that has better indoor coverage and a wider reach relative to the costs. With the acquisition, Smart is now moving to use the 700 MHz frequency as part of the accelerated deployment of its LTE service, hopefully resulting in faster, more reliable and more affordable internet service.

According to Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart’s chief technology and information adviser, the company will be using a two pronged strategy in implementing the 700 MHz frequency. The first part is to improve the network. Technically, the 700 MHz provides a wider coverage and enhance data network capacity. Second part involve new devices. Smart is talking with device manufacturers to bring in more affordable LTE smartphones and tablets that use 700 MHz.

Now with this two pronged strategy, Smart hopes to provide their subscribers with better better call quality, faster internet and data services resulting in an improved digital experience.

What’s in it for us?

I have been a Smart postpaid subscriber for over 13 years and I am excited with this recent development. For subscribers like me who hanged in there through thick and thin, the addition of the wider 700 MHz spectrum is very much welcome. Data speeds will be faster and (at least in my case) improved LTE signals inside our home.

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But probably one of the biggest improvements I hope to gain from all of this is battery life. Yup, battery life. It may sound weird but hear me out. According to numerous articles and blog posts about improving battery life (I found through Google), one of the bigger drains on a smartphone is reception (the display being the biggest). Which means improved frequencies will minimise the amount of time my phone spends hunting for better signal, resulting in improved battery life.

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So okay, maybe the battery life thing is a long shot, but there’s no denying the improvements we’re getting once Smart fully implements the new frequency nationwide. For now, the telco has started putting up new 700MHz cell sites in Davao, Pasig, and Tanay. Things are looking good.

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