Smart boosts Boracay coverage
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. is expanding its network in the newly rehabilitated Boracay island to enable tourists and residents to experience improved connectivity.

Smart said it has already deployed Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to 83 percent of its Boracay sites to date.

Of these LTE sites, 80 percent have been further upgraded to LTE-Advanced, which gives customers an even faster mobile data experience for better video viewing and mobile gaming.

Smart said it would further expand its LTE coverage and capacity across the island to better serve beachfront hotels and restaurants.

“Through our continuing network upgrade efforts across the country, we are empowering tourists, residents and local businesses alike by providing them with quality connectivity wherever they may be,” PLDT and Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering Mario Tamayo said.

“With our expanded networks, tourists can share the beauty of Boracay to the world, enjoy a better video streaming and mobile gaming experience, as well as access key online services like banking and e-commerce while on the island,” he added.

Tamayo said local entrepreneurs can also leverage on Smart’s expanded network coverage to boost their respective businesses now that Boracay has been reopened to tourists.

Boracay was the site of several technological firsts for Smart as well as the Philippines, including the firing up of LTE in 2012 and the deployment of LTE-A in 2016, in anticipation of the rise of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming and gaming.

 At present, about 70 percent of Smart’s LTE sites across the country are already on LTE-A, including major towns and cities like Paoay in Ilocos Norte, Baguio in Benguet, San Fernando in Pampanga, Calamba in Laguna, Antipolo in Rizal, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Naga in Camarines Sur, San Jose in Antique, Bacolod in Negros Occidental, Tagbilaran in Bohol, Lapu-Lapu in Cebu, Ormoc in Leyte, Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte, Koronadal in South Cotabato and Davao City, to name a few.

As of end-2018, Smart has increased the number of LTE base stations nationwide by over 86 percent year-on-year to about 16,200, while the number of 3G base stations also increased by 17 percent to about 11,500.

The massive deployment has enabled Smart to provide mobile broadband in at least 90 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities.

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