Smart Communications (Smart) continues to beef up the capacity and expand its LTE network to meet the surging demand for data services across the country.
This roll out also lays the groundwork for the deployment of 5G.
In the first half of 2020, Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations by 10% compared to end-2019. It also increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE.
As a result, 3,785 Smart base stations are now providing additional capacity for its LTE network. To date, Smart LTE is available in 91% of the country’s municipalities and serves 94% of the population.
You might also like: Smart GIGA Pro prepaid promos now available on Smart app, offers more data
These network upgrades enabled Smart to support the 36% spike in mobile data usage during the first six months of the year, as more people worked and studied at home, and as more businesses relied on online services to continue serving their customers amid the community quarantines.
Mobile traffic reached 1.3 Exabytes in the first half of the year, more than double the traffic in the same period last year.
Nationwide LTE rollout
This year, Smart is also set to further increase the number of its LTE sites and availability across all municipalities.
Smart LTE sites include Northern and Central Luzon provinces like Quirino and Aurora, Southern Luzon provinces like Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon, Visayas provinces like Capiz, Guimaras and Siquijor, and Mindanao provinces like Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, to name a few.
You might also like: Smart promo offers chance to win P100,000 shopping spree with a new Signature Plan
This year, Smart also deployed 4G/LTE in municipalities in remote areas of Ifugao, Mindoro, Northern Samar, and Sulu, and is ramping up its rollout in Cagayan and Isabela.
Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s extensive fiber infrastructure, which provides high-capacity links to LTE base stations and is now nearly 360,000 kilometers nationwide.
5G rollout and other updates
PLDT’s fiber network is a key element to ensuring Smart’s network is 5G-ready. Smart has already started to rollout equipment to support Smart’s 5G network, which recently went live as a commercial service.
In the initial phase, Smart Signature, Infinity and other Smart postpaid subscribers will be able to access Smart 5G in key business districts of Metro Manila using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated SIMs.
You might also like: Smart Prepaid call, text and data promos and packages to start your 2020
The 5G service will be rolled out to more targeted areas in Metro Manila this year and will be extended to other urban centers next year.
You can check out the areas with Smart 5G on this post.
Meanwhile, Ookla reports that Smart outpaced its competition in the first half of 2020, posting a Speed Score of 18.33, with average download speeds of 15.94 Mbps and average upload speeds of 7.57 Mbps.