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Philippines Smart Outlines LTE network Upgrade Plans

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Philippines based Smart has outlined plans to expand its LTE network this year to cover all major cities of the country and 25 more municipalities.

This move is seen to extend the reach of Smart's LTE network to close to 50 percent of the country's population.

"We are expecting a tremendous growth in data traffic, and we hope to sustain the pace of our aggressive LTE roll-out in order to keep up with the demand of our subscribers," said Rolando G. Peņa, Technology head for Smart and its parent company, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).

In a recent presentation, PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno revealed that the company is earmarking up to P32 billion, or between 18 to 20 percent of its service revenues, for capital expenditures in 2014.

Aside from expanding its 4G LTE coverage, the amount would be used to boost Smart's 3G coverage from 71 percent to 100 percent of the population, increase the PLDT Group's fiber footprint from 78,000 kilometers to 90,000 kilometers and invest in a new international cable system by the end of the year.

This year's capex also includes investments in necessary enhancements to strengthen network infrastructures in the face of severe weather disturbances.

"After our experience with super typhoon Yolanda, it is imperative for businesses to adapt to the reality of climate change," said Nazareno. "We are investing in necessary support systems and innovative designs so our base stations may withstand 300 kph winds," he added.

As of December 2013, the PLDT group's cellular subscriber base stood at 70 million.

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Tags: smart communications  pldt  Philippines