Smart LTE-Advanced Now Available in Batanes

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Smart Communications, Inc., a PLDT wireless subsidiary, has put up Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Batanes, for a better and faster mobile data experience, especially to tourists and residents in the province.

Smart LTE-Advanced Now Available in Batanes
Smart LTE-Advanced Now Available in Batanes

With a population of 17,246 people based on 2015 census, the island visits around 4,000 tourists a month. The entire province is included in the UNESCO Tentative List for Inscription in the World Heritage List. Batanes is subdivided into 6 municipalities that made up of 29 barangays. They also put LTE-Advanced on the provincial capital, Basco.

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“Smart is now the first operator to have LTE in the country’s northernmost province. This is part of Smart’s commitment to bring mobile internet to more than 90% of the country’s municipalities by the end of this year,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
“With Smart LTE now in Batanes, tourists and residents can now enjoy better mobile data experience that they can use to connect with loved ones across the country, as well as show the world sights and sounds from this picturesque province via social media,” he added.
“Covering Batanes with LTE was a major challenge. To connect this province, we had to use multiple microwave hops, including the longest single microwave hop in the country at 128 kilometers,” Tamayo said, adding that due to the province’s rugged and mountainous terrain, Smart deployed special heavy equipment to transport and install the cell sites. Getting to some relay stations also involved an eight-hour trek.

This year, Smart is currently deploying LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation technology to more areas. Smart had already rolled-out CA sites in other tourist destinations across the country, including Baguio, Sagada, Panglao, Dumaguete, Puerto Princesa, Daanbantayan, and Dapitan.

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