The Philippines cellular operator Smart Communications, which is owned by fixed line incumbent Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), has unveiled plans to expand its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to all major cities by the end of this year. It says it expects to be covering around 50% of the population with 4G services by end-2014. Its PHP32 billion (USD714 million) planned capital expenditures in 2014 will also see it increasing 3G network coverage from 71% to 100%, while it will also raise its fibre network footprint from 78,000km to 90,000km, Cellular News reports. ‘We are expecting a tremendous growth in data traffic, and we hope to sustain the pace of our aggressive LTE rollout in order to keep up with the demand of our subscribers,’ said Rolando G. Pena, head of Technology at Smart and PLDT.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Smart launched 850MHz and 2600MHz band LTE in August 2012, adding a 1800MHz service the following month. Its LTE networks are already available in main cities including Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Pateros, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig and Valenzuela.