PLDT wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications announced that it has to date upgraded more than 60% of its sites nationwide to LTE, while 62% of Smart’s LTE sites across the country are already LTE-A capable.
Amid these network upgrade efforts, mobile data traffic grew by 79% in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, higher than the industry year-on-year growth of 54% for the same period.
Smart has also fired up up to 5-component-carrier (5CC) aggregation in Metro Manila’s most populous metropolis, Quezon City. It has previously activated 5CC in Boracay and Marikina, where speeds of over 500 Mbps were achieved using 5CC-capable smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S9.
Carrier aggregation (CA) is a feature of LTE-A which enables the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds to mobile phone users. 2-Component Carrier (2CC) carrier aggregation features the combination of two frequencies, while 3CC involves the combination of three frequencies, 4CC combines four bands, and 5CC, five bands.
As of end-June, Smart said its has installed over 3,900 new LTE base stations across the country, not only to expand LTE coverage but also to lay the ground for LTE-A, which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones. This puts the total count of LTE base stations at over 12,600.