Wireless leader Smart Communications (Smart) has ramped up efforts to expand the coverage and capacity of its network following parent company PLDT’s co-acquisition of the telecoms businesses of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). Subscribers nationwide should expect to experience an overall improvement, particularly for mobile data, as these initiatives are part of the current three-year, multi-billion dollar network improvement program that forms a major part of the PLDT’s capital expenditure program.
The acquisition allowed SMART to gain access to 700, 900, 1800, 2300, and 2600 MHz frequencies which will allow them to accelerate deployment of its LTE (Long-Term Evolution) services.
This year alone, Smart plans to activate 360 LTE cell sites, initially in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. Last April, Smart fired up the country’s first LTE-A, also referred to as 4.5G, service in the resort island of Boracay, using carrier aggregation.
Smart is also rapidly expanding the capacity of its 2G network to handle more calls and text messages particularly in dense urban areas in Metro Manila, North Luzon, South Luzon, and some areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
“Having access to these frequencies is just one part of our massive network program. We will have to expand the capacity of our transmission links and international circuits, in order to handle the expected rise in data traffic. We will need to work with device manufacturers so we can help customers upgrade to more sophisticated but increasingly more affordable handsets and devices that can take advantage of the new powerful network that is being put in place,” added Horn.
Included in the plan is to synergize the mobile phone networks of Smart and Sun in order to improve the coverage and service quality for subscribers of both brands.