Smart demonstrates 3G network capabilities in Cebu

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Smart's demo of video callSmart demonstrated yesterday its 3G network capabilities in a media briefing in Cebu. The telecom giant has set up a 3G test network in Mactan Island, Cebu, the venue of this year’s Inter-working Roaming Expert Group (IREG) conference.

In yesterday’s briefing, Smart demonstrated a video call between a Smart phone and a phone subscribed to roaming partner Telecom Italia Mobile. The test call wasn’t just to any Telecom Italia Mobile subscriber-it was to IREG chair Lucy Lombardi. Smart said this is the “first inter-network 3G video call in the country.”

Smart also did a video call with company president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno. Its technical staff also did a demo of simultaneous voice, messaging and Internet use. During the demo call, the person on the line used the phone as modem for his laptop and in sending a picture message without cutting the connection with the caller.

Smart said it started conducting tests on 3G five years ago. The company said in its press statement that in December 2000, Smart and Nokia, with then National Telecommunications Commission deputy commissioner Nestor Dacanay “completed the first ever 3G trial in the Philippines.”

That trial tested video conferencing capabilities on WCDMA or wideband code division multiple access. Smart said the transfer speed of that 2000 test run was recorded at 216.9 kbps.

Smart is still applying for a license to roll out a 3G network in the country. The company is looking at extending 3G coverage in major areas in the country-up to mid-class municipalities.

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