Smart gears up for enhanced 5G coverage
Smart said it has successfully tested 5G carrier aggregation with its technology partners Ericsson, Huawei, and a leading 5G smartphone vendor.

Smart gears up for enhanced 5G coverage

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Mobile services provider Smart Communications Inc. is gearing up to further enhance 5G capacity, coverage, and user experience in the country.

Smart said it has successfully tested 5G carrier aggregation (CA) with its technology partners Ericsson, Huawei, and a leading 5G smartphone vendor.

This makes the company one of the first mobile operators in Asia Pacific to test CA in the live 5G network.

Smart said CA combines two or more separate bands of radio frequencies, increasing capacity which improves the overall 5G user experience.

“CA is already widely available in Smart’s LTE today, signified by LTE-A or LTE+ icons on users’ phones,” PLDT vice president and head of technology strategy and transformation office Arvin Siena said.

“With the right 5G CA-capable phones supporting these frequency bands, customers will be able to have two bands of 5G in addition to the LTE bands, enabling even higher speeds and better performance, especially for applications that have very high demand for data, such as augmented reality/virtual reality, and streaming of high-definition videos, for example,” Siena said.

The latest developments are part of the company’s strategy in deploying 5G across the country.

Smart started conducting tests with 5G in 2016 and in 2018, it fired up the country’s first 5G base stations in Makati with Huawei and the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga with Ericsson.

It launched its 5G service commercially last July, making it the first to roll out 5G nationwide.

Smart has been rolling out additional 5G sites as it accelerates its 5G commercial services across the country.

Its 5G service is commercially available in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao, as well as in urban areas like the Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, Mall of Asia Bay Area, North Avenue in Quezon City, Taft Avenue in Manila and Ortigas CBD.

It is also available in New Clark City in Pampanga, EDSA, strategic locations in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Taguig, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Parañaque, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Navotas, San Juan and Pasay.

For next year, PLDT is looking to earmark between P88 billion and P92 billion for capital expenditures, part of which will be invested in its continuing 5G rollout.

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