Smart ramps up rollout of strategic base stations
Base stations are electronic equipment installed on cell sites that transmit and receive radio frequencies.
BusinessWorld/File
Smart ramps up rollout of strategic base stations
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Smart Communications Inc. is ramping up the strategic rollout of its base stations to improve its services across the country.

Base stations are electronic equipment installed on cell sites that transmit and receive radio frequencies.

These stations connect customers’ mobile devices, such as phones and WiFi routers to the network.

“Your device is constantly talking to the nearest base station and cell site. Your phone and the base station can do that because they share common frequencies – similar to when you tune in to a radio or TV station. Your phone should be able to pick up the signal coming from the base station if the phone has the same frequency as the base station,” ” PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo said.

Smart increased the number of its LTE base stations to 28,200 as of August, up by 15 percent from 2019.

Tamayo said base stations in a cell site are connected via fiber to the network core, which processes calls, messages and data transactions.

Providing high capacity links for Smart’s base stations are PLDT’s fiber infrastructure which spans 382,500 kilometers as of end-August.

“From the base station all the way to the core, the connection is mostly fiber. Faster transmission of data is best enabled by fiberizing the base stations, so our customers can have a better experience when streaming videos, for example,” Tamayo said.

“We are able to optimize our network configuration by applying a basic foundation of 700 Mhz in all our sites to maximize coverage while adding base stations per site for capacity as necessary. As a result, we have managed to build an efficient network despite a relatively lower number of cell sites while covering 95 percent of the population in the Philippines,” he said.

With the regained momentum of its network rollout efforts following the easing of lockdown restrictions, PLDT has leveled up its target capital expenditures for the year back up to over P70 billion.

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