Smart Communications Inc. said it expanded its 4G network capacity throughout the country by reallocating some of its frequency due to rising Internet usage amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smart reallocated its assigned 1800 MHz frequencies from 2G to 4G/LTE, which began in the Visayas region on April 12 and would continue across the country over the next two weeks.
The shift will impact on a large share of Smart’s LTE sites throughout the country and increase the volume of data traffic that these facilities can handle.
LTE is an all Internet-protocol data network that offers the fastest and most widely available data service in the country today. Enhancing its LTE service offers Smart the fastest way to improve wireless data service throughout the country.
Moreover, the positive impact of this change is enhanced by the fact that the 1800 MHz band is the most commonly-used frequency among LTE smartphones available in the market today. As a result, the vast majority of Smart customers using LTE handsets will get to enjoy the improved service.
“We are making this transition at this time because the usage patterns of our customers have been shifting decisively in favor of data and the Internet. The majority of our customers have already moved from using 2G handsets to smartphones, and, increasingly, to LTE devices,” said PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering Mario Tamayo.
“This migration to data and digital services has stepped up since the COVID-19 outbreak. People are increasingly relying on their smartphones to keep them connected to their loved ones, to work or study from home, or to stream video and mobile games. Data connectivity is also essential to the frontline agencies and their people who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19,” he added.
Tamayo said customers using 2G handsets would continue to be well-served because Smart’s network retains sufficient capacity to handle voice calls and SMS on 2G.
“We are optimizing our network resources and using our frequencies in the most efficient way possible. We also welcome the use of additional frequencies that can be temporarily loaned to us during this enhanced community quarantine,” Tamayo said.