800 WiMAX sites to be deploy in first half by Smart

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is expanding its WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) network, with plans to deploy 800 more sites in the first half of this year.

The move is part of Smart’s efforts to enhance its fixed wireless broadband service, particularly in the provinces, where access to high-speed Internet is limited.

Since WiMAX covers a wider distance and serves more users at any given time while allowing high-speed data access, it can reach “blackout areas” that currently have no broadband Internet access. It can enable Internet penetration even to the most remote barrios and barangays.

“WiMAX is one of the technologies that Smart is deploying to satisfy the demand for high-speed wireless broadband service. We are focusing our WiMAX expansion in the provinces not only because of the low Internet penetration rate but also because these are the areas that could greatly benefit from the delivery of applications in health care, education and in connecting with relatives working abroad,” said Patrick Belicena, head of Smart’s Planning and Engineering, Access and Transport department.

MANILA, Philippines — WiMAX is a technology that provides wireless broadband access to a wide area spanning several kilometers. It can reach a maximum bandwidth speed of up to 30 megabits per second, which is apt for data-hungry applications like streaming video.

Belicena said that as part of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Group, Smart has access to the largest-capacity and most extensive fiber optic network in the country. Smart will use PLDT’s Digital Fiber Optic Network (DFON), complemented by Smart’s own fiber optic network to connect a WiMAX tower station directly to the Internet, he added.

Smart’s WiMAX network complements its high speed packet access (HSPA) network, which is based on the most advanced mobile broadband technology. Smart is the only Philippine telco and one of only a few in the world that have deployed HSPA running on 850 MHz which offers improved coverage for mobile broadband.

With WiMAX, HSPA and Canopy networks blanketing the country, Smart is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to provide ‘Internet for All’ at wireless broadband speeds.


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