Blazing fast internet remains a dream in Philippines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2016 11:53 AM

Smart Communications recently launched its blazing fast LTE Advance service, but internet speeds are not expected to pick up anytime soon as red tape slows the upgrade of telecommunication infrastructure, a technology blogger said.

Smart and rival Globe Telecom need to invest in quality cell sites as LTE or 4G is available only in urban areas while rural areas are stuck with crawling 3G connections, Unbox.ph editor-in-chief Carlo Ople told ANC's "Future Perfect."

"I think both telcos have been saying that it’s very difficult and it’s very hard to be able to secure all the permits through the different LGUs (local government units) to be able to put up the different cell sites," Ople said.

Smart promises up to 100 Mbps with its LTE Advance or 4.5G service. Internet speed in the Philippines is the second slowest in the world, beating only war-torn Afghanistan.

Ople said existing LTE towers can easily get upgraded to LTE Advance without building new structures.

The real problem, he said, was upgrading outdated 3G infrastructure to LTE or 4G.

"The real effect would be if we’re able to fix 3G—not even 4G—and make it reliable. But the problem with 3G, like what I mentioned earlier, is it’s really working with the government, the government seeing it as a priority, and leading it together with the telcos."