Smart to upgrade cell sites in Marikina, Quezon City

MANILA, Philippines – Smart Communications Incorporated, the wireless subsidiary of PLDT Incorporated, is set to upgrade its cell sites in Marikina City and Quezon City this October.

The upgrade is part of the network expansion and modernization plan that Smart promised when it bought half of the telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

The move is expected to improve Smart's mobile data service, particularly long term evolution (LTE) and 3G, and provide better network capacity to customers who live and work in the two cities.    

The comprehensive network expansion and modernization program is at the core of the PLDT group's digital pivot.

Smart's network rollout ate a big bulk of PLDT's capital spending budget of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of SMC assets.

"We are doing a lot of work in our facilities so please bear with us as we execute this. From the work that we've already completed, our customers are already reporting much improved LTE and 3G experience," Mario Tamayo, senior vice president for network planning and engineering at PLDT and Smart, said in a statement on Monday, October 9.

He added that customers "will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices."

Area by area

Smart's network upgrades will be "done gradually in various areas" of Marikina City and Quezon City.

Tamayo said this is being done to minimize disruption or degradation of services in the affected areas. (READ: Smart targets Metro Manila for LTE coverage expansion)

"We are doubling the number of our LTE equipment in Marikina and Quezon City, and expanding support for 3G as well," he added. 

"By the end of our upgrades, we expect to improve the coverage of our 700 megahertz (MHz) and 1800 MHz frequencies in the area, which will widen and improve indoor coverage, as well as increase each cell site's capacity to handle more calls, texts, and data traffic."

Since Smart bought half of SMC's telco assets, it has committed to ramp up its LTE rollout and deliver "superior experience" for users, particularly for data.

Smart has finished its LTE rollout in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao, as well as in the island resort of Boracay and in Rizal province. The rollout is underway in Metro Manila. –