MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Cagayan is among the latest provinces where Smart has ramped up the rollout of sites for Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), the best technologies to deliver fast, affordable, and reliable mobile internet services.
It has fired up LTE sites in Allacapan, Aparri, Calayan and Gattaran for the first time; and is tripling the number in the capital Tuguegarao. It has also activated LTE sites in tourist havens Batanes and Sagada.
Parent company PLDT is also aggressively rolling out its fiber broadband service, providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.
For Elsie Ang, of Barangay Centro II, Tuguegarao, these network improvements mean not only guaranteed clear connection to an overseas-based sister, but also more profit as a Smart load retailer.
“More people now prefer Smart because of faster internet speed and wider coverage,” she says.
Store owner and fellow Smart retailer Marivic Bunagan cites the stronger LTE signal as a big draw for customers, especially those who are active on social media.
For traveling salesperson Regie Sampayan, improved connectivity means greater efficiency. Where he used to search for internet cafes to file reports to his area manager, he now simply uses his mobile phone. He names among the areas with strong LTE Alcala, Lal-lo, and Buguey.
Impressed with faster internet connection, Irish Carannejo, a sari-sari store owner from Solana, has been confidently encouraging her customers to make the switch to Smart because she can vouch for its LTE speed.
From P500 worth of load in three days, she now sells between P500 and P1,000 in a day – a big boost to her earnings.
To fully enjoy the improved Smart LTE network, customers are encouraged to upgrade to an LTE-capable smartphone and an LTE SIM. Smart Prepaid and Smart Postpaid customers can check if their SIMs are LTE-ready by texting SIMCHECK to 5832 for free.
Smart, TNT and Sun customers can also easily upgrade to an LTE SIM without changing their existing number by going to any Smart Store or through an LTE-Ready Self-Service Upgrade SIM, which is available for P10 at Smart loading partners nationwide, with free 1GB data valid for three days upon upgrading.
Other LTE sites activated are in Puerto Princesa, Sarangani, Cebu, Kalibo in Aklan, Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Roxas City in Capiz, Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, Jordan in Guimaras, Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Catbalogan City in Samar and Maasin City in Southern Leyte, to name a few.
Smart is on track toward to fulfill its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover 90% of the country’s cities and municipalities with mobile data service by the end of this year.
PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation, with capital expenditures expected to reach P58 billion this year.