Smart Communications Inc. CellsiteNews

Smart expands LTE, 5G coverage as data usage surges

PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has increased the number of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G base stations across the country in response to the continued demand for mobile data. Mobile data traffic grew 30% year on year to 1,010 petabytes in the first quarter of 2022.

According to Smart, it has increased its total base stations nationwide to 76,600, supporting its 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G customers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi as of the first quarter of 2022. This includes around 7,300 5G base stations.

Smart also deployed more 5G base stations across the country, including in Davao City; the Metro Manila cities of Pasay, Quezon City, Taguig, Mandaluyong and Manila; Silang in Cavite and Lumban in Laguna; and in the Visayas cities of Iloilo, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Baybay, to name a few.

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“As the economy recovers and people become more mobile, the demand for fast and reliable connectivity will only further increase. This consistent expansion of our fixed and mobile network over the years has enabled us to respond to the needs of our customers, who have been relying on the internet to power their hybrid workplaces, online learning, electronic banking, and e-commerce,” said Mario Tamayo, head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.

Supporting Smart’s mobile network is PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which was at 803,000 kilometers.

PLDT earlier this month raised its capital expenditure guidance to P85 billion from a range of P75 billion to P80 billion. This increase will support updated requirements for the Home broadband and data center businesses and additional upgrades of the towers and their passive infrastructure assets — the subject of the tower sale and leaseback transaction.