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LTE Networks in Philippines – 2013 Forecast & TrendsAn Epic Battle

“Anything you can do I can do better.” That’s the name of the tune in the Philippines as the the country’s two telecommunication giants Globe Telecom and Smart Communications Inc. battle for Long Term Evolution (LTE) service dominance. When it comes to LTE Networks in Philippines – 2013  Forecast & Trends, the current state has 4G technology launched, with two vendors competing for bragging rights of the best service performance.

According to philSTAR.com, both Globe and Smart have claimed to be “firing up” new LTE cell sites nationwide, promising ultra fast mobile connectivity to subscribers. To make things even more competitive, each operator offered up its LTE service for FREE as a trial period in early 2013.

This announcement comes after Apple released its iOS 6.1 update, which brings LTE capability to additional networks worldwide. It also came on the heels of competitor Smart’s announcement to do the same type of promotion. “With this development, Globe postpaid subscribers on iPhone 5 can enjoy blazing mobile internet speeds of up to 42 Mbps in LTE-covered areas without having to upgrade their plans or pay extra charges,” said the statement from Globe’s PR department. [1]

“Globe, initially offered only in Makati City, has steadily increased coverage by bolstering its LTE infrastructure in key cities in Metro Manila as well as major areas outside the metropolis. Among Globe’s covered cities include Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig,  Manila, Muntinlupa, and also Cebu City and Boracay in Malay, Aklan in the Visayas. Within these locales, Globe has switched on its LTE signal in some of the major avenues, villages and subdivisions, business districts, upscale malls, hotels, busy commercial zones, government offices, schools, and sporting arenas and hospitals.”

Meanwhile, Smart has been busy spending money on expanding. In fact, the operator launched its most expensive round yet, since the service was initially made available commercially in August 2012. philSTAR.com reports that Lloyd Manaloto, head of the Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services, said Smart’s LTE coverage includes several areas in Davao City in Mindanao, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Bacolod City in Visayas,  Baguio City, Laoag City, San Fernando City, Cabanatuan City, Urdaneta City, Antipolo City, Olongapo City, Tagaytay City, and Dagupan City in Luzon.

The executive also noted that the deployment extends Smart LTE’s presence, covering 46 cities and 69 municipalities nationwide. With 54,000 kilometers of FOCs or Fiber Optic Cables installed across the country, Smart and parent company PLDT boast of over four times more fiber power than its competition.

“Fiber optic cables uses beams of light to communicate from the core network to our base stations,” said Manaloto. “This gives Smart a clear ‘fiber optic advantage’ which simply cannot be matched by any other network.”

To complete, Globe CEO Ernest Cu totes the ability for subscribers to travel to contiguous areas without losing their LTE signal.

“We don’t want them to be constrained in a specific LTE spot and be cut-off after stepping out of there. The Globe LTE coverage lets them freely walk around places they frequent such as malls, offices and the like and still receive our LTE signal seamlessly,” Cu said.  He also noted that Globe’s LTE expansion will be supported by the ongoing rollout of over 12,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable, allowing the span to cover more ground across the Philippines.

Globe’s chief technical adviser, Robert Tan, said the development further bolsters the company’s 4G network as it introduced technologies in anticipation of the incremental demand for mobile data.

“We have continued to expand our LTE coverage as we focus on large, contiguous areas, instead of ‘pocket activations’ and ‘hot spots’ to ensure greater and more stable coverage for customers,” Tan said. “With the Globe LTE, we have upped the ante in terms of internet connectivity by as much as 42 Mbps, currently the fastest available there is now.” [2]

[1] Android Authority, Free unlimited LTE from Philippine telcos Globe and Smart, http://www.androidauthority.com/free-unlimited-lte-151998/

[2] philSTAR.com, Globe, Smart battle for LTE supremacy, http://www.philstar.com/business/2013/02/20/911127/globe-smart-battle-lte-supremacy