PLDT, Globe proceed with rollout of new frequencies
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - July 14, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. are pursuing the rollout of new frequencies from San Miguel Corp. (SMC) even as both have filed a lawsuit against the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to stop the government body from undertaking a probe on the telcos’ transaction with the conglomerate.

In a statement, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. said it continues its utilization of the new frequencies following its joint purchase with Globe of SMC’s telco assets.

“Smart’s rapid network rollout using the additional frequencies is being undertaken to comply with the directive issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last May 27. The NTC ordered PLDT to immediately use the frequencies formerly assigned to the SMC telecoms businesses in order to improve its services within a year,” Smart said.

As of end-June, Smart said it has beefed up the capacity of its 2,035 cell sites in 581 cities and municipalities in different parts of the country by using the 1800 megahertz (Mhz) frequency spectrum previously assigned to SMC.

Smart is initially using the 1800 Mhz to enhance the ability of its GSM or 2G network to handle calls and text messages in the country.

In particular, Smart has started utilizing the new 1800 Mhz frequency in 264 cell sites in Metro Manila, 743 in North Luzon, 629 in South Luzon, 118 in the Visayas and 281 in Mindanao.

Smart said its 2G network expansion complements efforts to use the 700, 2300 and 2600 Mhz frequencies also previously assigned to SMC, to strengthen its mobile data service throughout the country, particularly via LTE (Long-Term Evolution) or the fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone technology which is currently the fastest wireless data service commercially available.

Earlier, Smart said it has powered eight LTE cell sites using the 700 Mhz spectrum, with five located in Davao City, and one each in Tanay, Rizal; Bacoor, Cavite; and Manggahan area in Pasig City.

Smart intends to activate a total of 360 cell sites with 700 Mhz this year, to cater to subscribers in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

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