The deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) service for leading wireless services provider Smart Communications is progressing at a much quicker pace compared to when it first rolled out 3G services in 2006 a company official said.
“It’s difficult to put an exact number to it, but based on the data that we have, LTE’s deployment has outpaced 3G’s by leaps and bounds,” said Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services Head Lloyd Manaloto said.
“This is mainly because we have learned a lot from the deployment of our 3G network which now allows us to install equipment, introduce new services, and determine which gadgets to offer faster than ever before,” he added.
The telco exec further explains that before the age of 3G, nobody really understood how people would take to mobile data services.
“What webpages and web-based services will Filipinos frequent on their phones? When and where will they use their data connections? Which cities and towns have the highest demand for Internet connectivity? How much are they willing to pay for the service?—these are just some of the predicaments which we have already figured out and have helped us better plan our strategies for LTE,” Manaloto said.
Apart from practical experience, Smart, together with parent company PLDT, now enjoys the benefit of having the Philippines’ first and only 100% super-charged mobile network.
Backed with over 54,000kms of fiber optic cables nationwide, Smart is able to introduce and expand newer and better services faster than ever before.
As proof of its prowess, Smart has tripled its LTE coverage since it was launched in August 2012.
To date, Smart LTE is currently present in over 770 establishments in 10 cities across Metro Manila and in Boracay, Cebu, and Davao.
Innovative service and pricing schemes and more affordable gadgets have also contributed greatly to the adoption of the service according to Smart Postpaid Business Head Kathy Carag.
“In 2006 a 3G-enabled handset would have set subscribers back around P40,000 and the ‘wow-factors’ were basic mobile surfing and video calling,” Carag said.
“Today with our postpaid plans, you can get a much more versatile LTE device with unlimited LTE service which allows you to download movies and music and stream shows at a fraction of the price or even for free,” Carag said.
In late January, Smart began offering LTE to select Smart iPhone 5 subscribers. The initial rollout gives Smart iPhone 5 users who availed of their device with a bundled unlimited data plan* unlimited use of LTE until April 30, 2013.
Carag adds apart from the improved data services Smart iPhone 5 users can now also enjoy Smart’s new High Definition Voice (HD Voice) feature.
HD Voice is a free feature which improves call audio quality made between HD Voice-compatible devices using Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR) technology.
Meanwhile, for users of other LTE-enabled devices, Smart has introduced LTE “buckets” which will enable Regular and Consumable Postpaid subscribers to use LTE.
|Data Package||Validity||Availment Instructions|
|LTE 50||1 day||Text LTE 50 to 2200|
|LTE 299||7 days||Text LTE 299 to 2200|
|LTE 995||30 days||Text LTE 995 to 2200|
“Simply text the appropriate keyword and you can instantly enjoy unlimited LTE wherever the service is available,” said Carag.
Smart LTE is available in Broadband Plans 1299, 1749, and 3500 with a free USB dongle or with a Pocket WiFi device for a one-time fee of P2,000.
It is also available on LTE Postpaid Plan 1500 and 2000 with a free Sony Xperia V, ZTE T82, or Huawei Ascend D1 Android smartphone.
All LTE Broadband and Postpaid plans and LTE bucket pricing offers can be used on an unlimited basis until March 31, 2013.
For more information on Smart LTE, visit www.smart.com.ph/lte or visit the Smart Store nearest you.