After launching the LTE service for its Sun mobile phone brand in Metro Cebu, leading telecommunications and digital services provider PLDT is now making available its 4G service and launching new data offers for Sun subscribers across the country.
Starting this month, Sun prepaid customers can go to the Sun Shops to quickly upgrade their SIMs to LTE for free and retain their number. Postpaid customers, on the other hand, may visit Sun Shops starting November. Coupled with an LTE smartphone, these new SIMs will enable Sun customers to enjoy much faster mobile data services.
To take full advantage of the new LTE service, customers can sign up for Sun’s newly launched LTE prepaid offers, like Sun Big Time Data 70, which offers 1GB data, unlimited text to all networks, 30 minutes calls to Sun for P70, valid for 7 days.
“With LTE now available, our Sun customers can now enjoy a better mobile data experience, which they can use to watch videos, play games, and download files on-the-go,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
“We encourage our Sun customers to upgrade their SIMs to LTE-ready SIMs for free in our Sun shops, as well as upgrade to LTE devices so they can fully tap the improved LTE network that we are putting in place,” said Alex O. Caeg, head of Consumer Business for Customer Development.
LTE for all
This LTE rollout is only part of a broader effort to improve the overall quality of service available to millions of Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers. This network expansion effort also includes the integration of the Smart and Sun mobile networks, which enabled Smart to install more new base stations for 2G, 3G, and LTE technologies to better serve the subscribers of both brands.
Smart is also currently re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage, and deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle more calls, texts, and mobile data traffic. It has finished its LTE rollout in Metro Davao, Boracay, Rizal, and Metro Cebu, while it is currently ongoing in Metro Manila.
These network improvement activities have been bearing fruit. Initial internal tests have shown Sun LTE speeds to have improved, with median download speeds in Northern NCR hitting 11.5 Mbps. Improvements in 3G voice and data experience have also been noted.
LTE delivers superior experience for users, particularly for data, compared to 3G.
This comprehensive network modernization and expansion program is at the core of the PLDT group’s digital pivot. Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up by the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.
(Press release and image from my employer, PLDT)