Bet on 4G technology paying off, says Smart
More Filipinos are likely to make their cellular phones and mobile devices their main means of accessing the Internet as connection speeds are expected to improve significantly in the next three to four years.
Hardware manufacturers are also seen coming out with more devices that run on fourth-generation—or 4G—mobile technology at lower costs, carrier Smart Communications said.
“The future of mobile broadband is LTE (long-term evolution), and Smart is leading the way,” said Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando B. Vea. “We are very happy to bring the fastest 4G technology to the city with the fastest lifestyle.”
LTE is a kind of 4G technology used by Smart to deliver high-speed Internet services to its subscribers. The company’s rivals, Globe Telecom and wi-Tribe, currently use HSPA+ and wireless interoperability microwave access (WiMAX) technology, respectively, for their own 4G services.
In a statement at the weekend, Smart said the biggest hindrance to the growth of LTE today was the lack of mobile devices that support the technology.
But this problem is being addressed fast, the company said. Smart said “3G will remain the predominant service subscription, also with robust growth, but over the next five years things will trend toward LTE as 4G service availability is ramped up,” citing a recent study by analysis firm In-Stat.
In a related study by the US General Services Administration (GSA), the number of LTE-enabled devices from various manufacturers has increased 40 percent in the past three months. From 98 devices in March 2011, the tally now stands at 137 with routers and personal hotspots posting the biggest jump with 17 new offerings.
The device count is as follows: 27 modules (up from 22); 8 tablets (up from 7); 7 notebooks/netbooks (up from 6); 2 PC Cards (up from 1); 9 smart phones (up from 6); 45 routers and personal hotspots (up from 28); and 39 USB modems/dongles (up from 28).
Smart said the use of LTE around the world is growing faster than the other forms of 4G.
“This is certainly good news,” said PLDT and Smart technology group head Rolando G. Peña.
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