MANILA - Smart is expanding the reach and capacity of its LTE network to lay the groundwork for the deployment of 5G, parent firm PLDT said on Wednesday.
To meet the surging demand for data services, PLDT said Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations by 10 percent compared to end-2019. It also increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE.
PLDT said there was a 36 percent spike in mobile data usage during the first six months of the year, as more people worked and studied at home, and as more businesses relied on online services to continue serving their customers amid the community quarantines.
The telco said its LTE services are already available in 91 percent of the country’s municipalities.
“In most provinces, we have already upgraded our existing sites to LTE. We continue to add LTE bands and rollout additional physical sites so that we can support our customers’ ever-increasing need for connectivity, especially in the new normal,” said PLDT-Smart senior vice president Mario Tamayo.
Smart is also upgrading their sites with 5G-ready equipment using the 2600 MHz frequency, he said.
PLDT launched 5G mobile phone services on July 30 in select urban areas.
The telco said 5G will be rolled out to more targeted areas in Metro Manila this year and will be extended to other urban centers next year.