Smart’s network modernization program, initiated way ahead of competition, is already capable of providing up to 200 percent additional capacity on a “push-button” approach or when needed to meet the demands of customers. In spite of the significant increase in capacity, energy cost for the completed sites across the country has decreased by an average of 20.54 percent for the second half of 2011.
“Our subscribers will experience the benefits of additional capacity in the enhanced quality of our voice, SMS and broadband services, especially once we complete the testing and optimization of our modernized sites,” said Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea.
“At the same time, we are elated by the decrease in energy consumption since this translates not only to savings, but also to a reduction of Smart’s carbon footprint. Imagine the cumulative effect once we complete the conversion of thousands of our sites nationwide to the multi-technology Single Radio Access Network (RAN) system under our modernization program,” he added.
With multi-technology Single RAN, a base station can simultaneously handle different technologies, from 2G, 3G, HSPA to LTE (Long Term Evolution), allowing an operator such as Smart to quickly shift to new technologies through advanced Software Defined Radio (SDR) capability depending on market needs in a cost-efficient manner.
The conversion to multi-technology single RAN requires the total replacement of base station equipment with smaller, cost-efficient structures that consume less power and subsequently reduce carbon emission.
“A recipient of the GSM Association’s first-ever Green Mobile Award in 2009, Smart is consistent in its efforts to be earth-friendly in its operations. We have pioneered the use of renewable energy to power 114 off-grid cell sites nationwide, and we are doing it again by reducing our carbon footprint with smaller, less power-hungry equipment under our modernization program,” Vea said.
The equipment upgrade is part of the P67-billion network transformation program that Smart and its parent company the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) began early last year.
The work is being undertaken in phases by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in Metro Manila and Bulacan; Ericsson in north and south Luzon; and Huawei in Visayas, Mindanao, Palawan and Bicol. Smart has already completed phase 1 of its two-year modernization program. Completion of the entire program is scheduled by mid-2012.