Undoubtedly, Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE, or LTE for short) is now the big thing in the realm of wireless high speed mobile internet. The LTE technology further heats up the competition between the two biggest telecommunications company in the Philippines, namely PLDT’s Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom. The two companies introduced LTE to Philippines, and both of them are claiming to be the pioneers of the said technology in the country. Nonetheless, the real issue is not about being the first to introduce such a technology, but the manner in which this new service is being carried out in order to reach its customers.

Both networks are currently expanding their LTE coverage. Recently, Smart Communications has expanded its services not only within Metro Manila, but also in the province of Rizal and in selected parts of northern Luzon, southern Luzon, Visayas and even in Mindanao[1]. All in all, Smart has covered 170 locations, including cities and municipalities. Smart’s LTE service promises to provide broadband speed of up to 42 megabytes per second. On the other hand, Globe Telecom was seen expanding its LTE coverage in roaming services along with South Korea’s SK Telecom. This was made possible through Globe’s partnership with American firm Aicent Inc.[2].

Image taken from http://www.digitaltrends.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/ATT-4G-LTE.png

Globe Telecom and Smart Communications are showing competitiveness in terms of providing LTE services for the Filipino customers. LTE is currently available for prepaid and post-paid plans. Prepaid products and services include an LTE sim, an LTE plug-it (similar to Smart Bro), and a pocket wifi. Meanwhile, post-paid products and services include plans which come along with the customer’s choice of smartphones that are LTE enabled.  

In July 2013, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has conducted a service test for both companies[3]. Based on the results of the test, Smart has “outsmarted” Globe in terms of providing seamless mobile wireless services, not only in broadband/data, but also in voice and text services. However, Globe refutes the findings of the NTC, saying that the results are needed to be reevaluated and that the testing process should entail more transparency for both parties concerned.

The stage for the battle of the giant telecommunications company is set ablaze by the entry of the LTE in the realm of mobile wireless telecommunications, as it immediately became a part of the mainstream high speed mobile internet technology.

[1]               Telegeography, “PLDT’s Smart extends LTE coverage to 170 cities, municipalities,” http://www.telegeography.com/products/commsupdate/articles/2013/07/22/pldts-smart-extends-lte-coverage-to-170-cities-municipalities/index.html (Retrieved: July 25, 2013).

              Philippine Daily Inquirer, “Globe Telecom signs deal with US firm,” http://business.inquirer.net/129861/globe-telecom-signs-deal-with-us-firm (Retrieved: July 25, 2013).

[3]               Camus, Miguel R.”Philippine Daily Inquirer: Smart edges out Globe in service tests,” http://technology.inquirer.net/27239/smart-edges-out-globe-in-service-tests (Retrieved: July 25, 2013).

Telecommunications Industry Group
Bulahan, Lyndon
Galeon, Francis
Pestano, Zenon
Policarpio, Bianca

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