Customers of PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora can look forward to improved connectivity as Smart expands its rollout of Long-Term Evolution and LTE-Advanced across the two provinces.
These network upgrades are expected to improve Smart’s cellular service in major roadways in the area such as the Pan-Philippine Highway, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, and the Pantabangan-Baler Road.
Mobile phone coverage is also expected to be boosted in major points of convergence like Sabang Beach, malls, government offices, hotels, and schools; and populous barangays like Bibiclat, Cuyapo, Dampulan, Poblacion and San Francisco, to name a few.
“As technologies enrich the lives of Filipinos, we continue to build and expand our network to better serve our subscribers,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.
“This brings families closer together, improves business productivity, and enhances the people’s ability to enjoy various online services, may it be for finance, transportation or entertainment. By bringing in LTE, coupled with carrier aggregation, we aim to provide a superior mobile data experience to the Filipino communities here in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora,” he said.
With improved connectivity, residents in the farming province of Nueva Ecija can reap the benefits of online banking, whereas tourists visiting the surfing town of Baler in Aurora can surf the internet as well while on vacation, Tamayo added.
Carrier aggregation is a feature of LTE-A, which allows the combination of two or more radio frequency bands to deliver much faster data speeds to customers using capable phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, and Huawei P30, for example.
To fully enjoy the improved Smart LTE network, customers are encouraged to upgrade to an LTE or LTE-A-capable smartphone and an LTE SIM.
“Our Smart Prepaid and Smart Postpaid customers can check if their SIMs are LTE-ready by texting SIMCHECK to 5832 for free,” said John Palanca, Smart vice president and regional head, Consumer Business and Customer Development.
“Smart, TNT and Sun customers can also easily upgrade to an LTE SIM without changing their existing number by going to a nearby Smart Store or through an LTE-Ready Self-Service Upgrade SIM, which is available for P10 at Smart loading partners nationwide, with free 1GB data valid for three days upon upgrading,” Palanca added.
Supporting PLDT and Smart’s fixed and mobile network roll-out is the expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network.
PLDT’s fiber footprint, now the most extensive in the country at more than 259,000 kilometers, also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity fiber connections for LTE base stations.
PLDT and Smart’s network transformation efforts are backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic, with the aim of delivering the best data customer experience.