Smart to offer faster internet service

MAKATI CITY (MindaNews/16 June) — Smart Communications, Inc. is rolling out later this year a high-speed internet service in Mindanao, which could download high-density movies in just several minutes, company officials said on Tuesday.

Anne Binuya, Smart Bro prepaid product manager, said the company will be offering the country’s first Long Term Evolution (LTE) network also simultaneously in the National Capital Region and the Visayas.

“We’re offering a new internet experience that will have an average speed of 50 mbps (megabits per second), and we’re releasing it commercially at the end of this year,” she said in a briefing here for journalists from the provinces.

Outside the NCR, the company targets to offer the new technology first to key cities like Davao in Mindanao and Cebu in the Visayas.

Smart Communications, a fully-owned subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), demonstrated the product during the annual PLDT stockholders’ general meeting.

Binuya claimed that Smart LTE could reach an internet speed as fast as 100 mbps, and that once released in the market, subscription could fetch a “premium price” due to its “breakneck connection speed.”

Jay Bacoy, Smart Communications technical service senior manager, said that about 7,000 LTE sites will rise across the country in a two-year span, in locations where the company already operates cellular sites.

Bacoy said that technical studies have been underway for Smart LTE’s inter-operability with their 3D technology, so the former would not make the latter virtually obsolete.

Bullish on the prospects of Smart LTE, Bacoy noted “it would be the biggest thing to hit internet service in the Philippines.”

“It would take less than five minutes to download a one gigabyte movie,” he said in the same briefing.

Smart Communications initially introduced the LTE technology last April in Boracay.

According to a company statement, the test run achieved download speeds of up to 70 mbps, making it faster than mobile 3G and most DSL and cable services.

The low latency connection also makes it ideal for viewing streaming videos and engaging in other media-rich online activities such as gaming and accessing web-based applications and programs, it added.

LTE is widely recognized by telecommunication companies all over the world as the most efficient means of making available high-speed internet, the statement said.

Several companies in various parts of the world have already rolled out their services such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan, Verizon in the United States, TeliaSonera in Europe, and Telstra in Australia, it said. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)