Posted: August 29, 2013

Mobile leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has now attained double the data speed of current fourth-generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in recent trials in Metro Manila and Davao City, using ‘LTE-Advanced’.

A mobile broadband technology which can deliver data rates in excess of 200 mega bytes per second (mbps), up to a possible 700mbps, LTE-Advanced is currently deployed by operators in South Korea, the United Kingdom, and various South American countries, allowing users to download data at speeds twice as fast as 4G networks and 10 times faster than 3G services. More in 2G, 3G & 4G Mobile Network Subscriptions, Spectrum Licensing, Ownership, Infrastructure Contracts & Handset Shipments Database.

At trials held first in Makati City in cooperation with network equipment provider Huawei Philippines, Smart co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea saw the test facilities achieving break-neck speeds of up to 209.66 mbps, over twice the 100 mbps top speed of LTE.

“LTE Advanced is the next step forward for mobile broadband, and we look forward to many new possible applications of this ultra-fast technology that will benefit Filipinos and keep the Philippines abreast with the most technologically advanced countries in the world,” said Vea.

At last weekend’s Kadayawan festival in Davao City, Smart also achieved LTE-Advanced speeds of up to 210.58 mbps. As participants of Kadayawan highlight ‘Indak-indak sa Dalan’ performed on the streets of downtown Davao City, Smart and Huawei officials tested the LTE-Advanced connectivity deployed in the area, and attained more than three times the already super-fast speed of 62.71 mbps of current Smart LTE.

At an event held at the PLDT-Smart office in downtown Davao City, PLDT and Smart Technology Group Head Rolando G. Peña introduced the technology to members of the media, key officers of the IT community of Davao, and representatives from the local government unit, describing LTE-Advanced as the ‘future of mobile broadband’.

“These tests demonstrate the readiness of the Smart network infrastructure to meet the demands of technologies that go beyond LTE,” said Peña.

During the tests, Smart’s LTE-Advanced network posted consistent speeds of upwards of 200 mbps, in continuous tests done by Smart and Huawei officers via speedtest.net, a free broadband connection analysis website.

File download tests were also performed, with a 10-MB file taking about five seconds to download from a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server via the current Smart LTE network, and the same 10-MB file  downloading via LTE-Advanced in just about a second or one-fifth of the time it took the current Smart LTE.

For end-user experience, Smart also tested LTE-Advanced using Skype high-definition (HD) video calling, achieving a completely lag-free, crystal-clear experience for users of the popular voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client.

In the test setup in both Makati City and Davao City, LTE Advanced was also deployed over WiFi, enabling devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops to experience extremely high speeds by logging on to the local wireless network.

“Just as we have seen how quickly Filipinos took to LTE after getting a taste of its high speeds and lag-free mobile broadband, so do we foresee the rapid acceptance of LTE Advanced, once all the right elements are in place,” added Vea.

The widespread adoption of LTE Advanced is expected to help bring down the cost of network equipment and customer terminals significantly.

“The good news is we have transformed our network in the past two years. LTE Advanced will work hand-in-glove with our extensive and robust fiber-powered network which, as we speak, we continue to expand and strengthen,” Peña added.

With over 71,000 kilometers of total fiber footprint, inclusive of 7,200 kilometers of international submarine fiber, and over 4,000 kilometers of domestic submarine fiber, Smart, together with parent company PLDT, boasts of the Philippines’ most extensive fiber network.

Unlike traditional copper wires which use electricity to transmit data, fiber uses pulses of light allowing for quick and lossless uploads and downloads.

“By combining high-speed wireless access technologies like LTE Advanced with PLDT and Smart’s extensive fiber optic network, we can provide customers with an unmatched broadband experience well into the future,” Vea said.

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