Smart Communications, the mobile arm of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), says it has begun testing an alternative technology to the one currently used for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network – Time Division Duplexing LTE (TDD-LTE) – in conjunction with Chinese manufacturer Huawei Technologies. PLDT-Smart technology group head Rolando G Pena, noted: ‘Our existing Frequency Division Duplexing LTE or FDD-LTE uses one set of frequencies for uploads and another for downloads. In a TDD-LTE system, data takes turns in rapid succession to use a single set of frequencies … It’s a different yet equally effective means of delivering high speed data services and we are testing its suitability to local conditions’. It is understood that initial tests of TDD-LTE achieved download speeds of between 40Mbps and 60Mbps via an LTE SIM-equipped router.
In a separate development, PLDT has confirmed plans to extend its fibre-optic network by 5,000km in 2013, under a PHP2.5 billion (USD61.18 million) investment programme that will increase its total fibre deployment in the Philippines to 60,000km. The carrier’s fibre networks comprise a number of complementary programmes, including the rollout of a domestic fibre-optic network (DFON) used for long-haul applications, fibre-to-the home (FTTH), fibre-in the-loop (FITL) and other inter-office fibre projects. In 2013, PLDT has already extended its FTTH footprint to reach two million households in Metro Manila, the regions of Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and the provinces of Panay, Negros Occidental, Cebu, and Davao.