Smart 5G LTE-A Goes Live : Philippines Joins Elite List of Countries with LTE-A Network

LTE or Long Term Evolution is no longer the fastest mobile data connection that you can enjoy in the Philippines. Smart Communications, the country's leading cellular network, has switched on LTE-A at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City recently, setting the next phase of mobile communication technology beyond 4G LTE standards.

Smart 5G LTE-A

LTE-A, also referred to as 5G by reports on leading global mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile, delivers data from between 100 megabits per second (mbps) to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as 4G services (42 mbps).

By firing up LTE-A technology on its network, Smart joins only a handful of carriers around the world with an LTE-A network, along with leading mobile operators in South Korea, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.

“Even as our 3G and 4G networks continue to be unrivaled, Smart becomes the first operator to leap into the future and put the Philippines at par with the world’s most advanced countries in terms of mobile communications technology,” said Mr. Orlando B. Vea, founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart.

Smart 5G LTE-A
Co-Founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart Communications, Mr. Orlando B. Vea (first from left), during the tests of 5G LTE-A in Smart last year, where speeds reaching 209.66 mbps were recorded.

With LTE-A, a 10MB file takes less than a second to download, YouTube videos no longer have to buffer, and video calls are almost lag-free. But beyond speed, LTE-A’s main feature is also its capability to allocate more network resources to users when the need arises. Smart started testing LTE-A across the country in August last year, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival.

“We are able to deliver all these high-bandwidth services and applications on the strength of our transmission backbone network, which is the most extensive and most resilient in the country. Aside from allowing us to commit to speed, our unmatched network resources give us the edge in terms of efficiency and reliability,” shared Mr. Ramon Isberto, Public Affairs Head for Smart and its parent company the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)

Smart’s nationwide coverage is backed by PLDT’s fiber optic cable connection which has now reached nearly 90,000 kilometers, or - according to the MVP-company - more than four times than competition. To further strengthen this domestic fiber optic network (DFON), PLDT also set up third legs in its fiber loops in key areas nationwide, the latest of which is the Bohol DFON project that provided redundant links between the Visayas and Mindanao.

Smart Communications has yet to disclose when exactly consumers can expect to avail of the company's new ultra-fast LTE-A mobile speeds either via postpaid plans or prepaid kits. I'm guessing, though, that it should be up for subscription either late this year or early next year.