Saturday, April 16, 2016

Smart Deploys First Working LTE-A (4.5G) Internet in the Philippines

Smart officially started to roll out the country's first working LTE-A 4.5G network connection. The introduction of this service will soon let Filipinos experience super high-speed internet service. I'm also happy to let you know that we averaged roughly 200Mbps on tests done using the speedtest app. This is not something that even my home DSL or cable internet is capable of. This really is the next wave!

These super fast speeds was because of the “Carrier aggregation” implementation done by Smart. It is simply done by combining 2 or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds. For the LTE-A, Smart has combined 3 frequencies in Boracay and was able to deliver speeds of up to 250 Mbps. These ultra-fast speed was not achieved just now. In 2013, Smart also did a test run during a Geeks on a Beach startup conference. They also tested it in Kadayawan Festival in Davao, and an actual test in Metro Manila, specifically Makati City. It was not until recently that LTE-A capable devices became available so the roll out of the LTE-A connection couldn't be more on time. While other network(s) think there are no devices currently supporting LTE-A, we know for a fact that the current LTE-A capable devices include the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. To show proof that they support LTE-A, check out the video speedtest below.

In an explanation shared by Horn, PLDT and Smart Chief Technology and Information advisor,
“This is like being able to put together two or more separate highways in order to create a wide highway through which vehicular traffic can flow more freely and at a much faster rate,” 
The effect of being able to provide LTE-A for us, the consumers, are faster download rates which equates to no video or music streaming buffering, downloading large files in just minutes and such. In the event, we even downloaded a game with file size of 850MB in just a minute! To show you an example, here are several videos we took during the launch:

Initially deployed and launched here in Boracay Island, the country's premier summer destination, Smart now joins a short list of operators around the world to have rolled out and tested the technology. Countries including Australia (Optus), US (Sprint),  and Turkey (Turkcell).

We tested to load a super high quality video and it didn't stress out the network even a bit. No buffering even if we jump from one scene to the other.
I can't wait for this service to be fully available all over Metro Manila!

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