Smart Communications and its parent company PLDT (News - Alert) have entered into an agreement with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to make the necessary investment to cover the Philippines with LTE (News - Alert) deployment to provide next generation communications. This agreement will give 1,551 cities and municipalities across the country LTE services by the end of 2018, with 785 of those locations set to receive the services before the end of 2017. As the deployment continues, Smart Communications just announced the successful test of the first Voice over Long-Term Evolution (LTE), or VoLTE, call in the Philippines.
Voice over long-term evolution or voice over LTE/VoLTE is the standard that delivers voice communication and data over 4G LTE networks. Using the 4G wireless network, it creates, provisions and manages high-speed voice, video and messaging services for mobile and portable devices. The VoLTE technology uses IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) based networks to offer video calling, voice calling, and multimedia streaming and sharing services.
The LTE network deployment is being carried out in collaboration with Ericsson, with some major metropolitan areas in the country already experiencing the benefits of this technology. This includes greater Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu, which have been receiving Smart's LTE-A services with speeds of over 100 Mbps for customers with devices that are LTE capable.
“With the introduction of VoLTE, Smart will ensure and further enhance voice quality, while also enabling a broader range of communication capabilities,” said Sean Gowran, Head of Ericsson (News - Alert) Philippines and Pacific Islands.
When the three year agreement Smart and PLDT made with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the people of the Philippines is finalized, there will be LTE coverage in 95 percent of the country’s cities and municipalities. In addition to delivering fast, affordable, and reliable Internet services, it will also lay the ground work for 5G and the many next-generation communications services that technology will offer.
“We are excited to be the first network in the country to successfully use VoLTE, because this technology holds so much promise in terms of improving the quality of mobile service available to our customers. Voice will always be an important mobile application, and VoLTE is the platform of the future which will provide the best customer experience when it comes to voice communications,” said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor at PLDT and Smart.
Smartphones are the primary device for Internet access for many developing countries around the world. The Philippines is in the process of upgrading its wireless network infrastructure to start providing next generation communications services for its citizens. The technology has made it possible for customers to access online banking, healthcare, entertainment and important information their government wants to pass on in the event of emergencies.