Smart LTE Advanced demo

Smart network ready for LTE Advanced: Rolando Peña

DAVAO CITY-After hitting LTE Advanced download speeds in excess of 200 megabits per second (Mbps) during tests in Manila, Smart Communications Inc. held another test in Davao City last Saturday.

PLDT and Smart Technology head Rolando Peña said he scheduled the test in Davao to show that the company’s network is able to deliver LTE Advanced throughout the country.

“I want to be able to tell my board of directors that I have personally tested the network up to Davao and that we are able to deliver the next generation LTE on a nationwide basis. To me Davao is the biggest challenge because it traverses several land-sea-land-sea type of combination,” Peña said during the test at the PLDT office in this city.

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1ST LTE OVERSEAS CALL FROM THE PHILIPPINES. Huawei Wireless Technology Head Li Zhi Chao calls a colleague at the Huawei head office in China to make the first overseas LTE call from the Philippines at the Smart office in Mabolo, Cebu City. (Photo provided by Smart Public Affairs)

Smart makes country’s first LTE voice call, SMS

Smart Communications, Inc. conducted the country’s first long-term evolution (LTE) voice calls and SMS in Cebu last Tuesday.

PLDT-Smart Technology head Rolando Peña described the development as historic and said it was a “major step forward for Smart and the Philippine mobile industry.”

LTE is a telecommunication standard for high-speed data transfer. Being a standard for data transfer, operators need to engineer it to be able to do voice calls, which are currently handled differently.

1ST LTE OVERSEAS CALL FROM THE PHILIPPINES. Huawei Wireless Technology Head Li Zhi Chao calls a colleague at the Huawei head office in China to make the first overseas LTE call from the Philippines at the Smart office in Mabolo, Cebu City. (Photo provided by Smart Public Affairs)

1ST LTE OVERSEAS CALL FROM THE PHILIPPINES. Huawei Wireless Technology Head Li Zhi Chao calls a colleague at the Huawei head office in China to make the first overseas LTE call from the Philippines at the Smart office in Mabolo, Cebu City. (Photo provided by Smart Public Affairs)

The calls and sending of SMS were made a month after Smart launched commercial availability of its LTE services.

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NOT JUST DATA PIPE. PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan speaks to shareholders during the company's annual stockholders' meeting. Pangilinan said PLDT must "move firmly into social media, social networking and Internet spaces before they move into ours and eat our lunch." (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

Next frontier lies in media space: MVP

PLDT will not just be an Internet pipe for data, chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told shareholders during a meeting Thursday afternoon in Dusit Thani hotel in Makati City.

The company needs to “move firmly into social media, social networking and Internet spaces before they move into ours and eat our lunch,” Pangilinan told the company’s shareholders and officials.

“Innovation and competition will not only come from telcos like ourselves but also from ‘over the top’ players belonging to the Internet space like Facebook, Google, Apple and YouTube, which actually compete with us,” he said.

He later told reporters who interviewed him at the venue, “margins are getting depressed by staying purely as a distribution company, as an infrastructure company… We have to be something more than that.”

“And really the next frontier lies in the media space — both in the legacy and in the new media space. And how you will blend the telco, utility operations with the creative part of social media is a big challenge. Nobody has been successful yet,” he said.

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Globe offers unlimited calling to landlines with Globe DUO

Globe launched in Cebu last week its Globe DUO service, a combination mobile and landline service that gives subscribers two numbers—a mobile phone number and a portable landline number—using just one subscriber identification module (SIM).

With Globe DUO, consumers get to make and receive unlimited calls to and from any landline number within a certain coverage area. Globe DUO subscribers can also make unlimited calls to other subscribers of the service.

The service is initially available for pospaid Globe subscribers in Manila and Cebu. Today, May 25, Globe will open the service for the first time to prepaid users. Globe Telecom Consumer Wireless Business Group head Ferdinand dela Cruz said they chose Cebu for today’s introduction of the service to prepaid use.

Ferdinand dela Cruz talks about Globe DUO
LANDLINE AND MOBILE PHONE. Globe Telecom Consumer Wireless Business Group head Ferdinand dela Cruz talks about Globe DUO during its launch in Cebu.

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End of the Affair

(Blogger’s note: This break-up post was written a couple of weeks back.)

We go way back, Globelines and I. More than 5 years, if I can recall correctly.

I signed up with the company before Globelines became what it is today, one of two giant telecommunications companies that dominate the country.

I signed up to what was then Islacom not only because I’m a sucker for underdogs but as personal protest against the single dominant carrier at that time, PLDT, and its move to meter local calls. When I signed up, I knew I would be using my phone more for Internet connection (via the Jurassic dial up service) than for calls and if PLDT were to meter local calls, I feared I’d be racking up huge bills.

PLDT myDSL I’M WITH HER. It’s goodbye Globelines Broadband and hello PLDT MyDSL.

PLDT eventually abandoned the move to meter all local calls. It, instead, offered a prepaid service that has become popular today.

But I stuck with Islacom, which became Innove, which became Globelines. I stuck with it even as it started to insist I pay a month in advance while I stood firm on paying only for services I’ve used.

This means that for February, Globelines bugs me in the middle of the month, to pay for the entire month’s billing cycle. I, on the other hand, insisted on paying only for my January bill. Maybe this is standard billing practice but I don’t encounter this with my cable company, electric utility and my subdivision’s water distributor.

Not even occasional notices of disconnection, which sometimes lay unopened in my office desk for weeks, forced me to pay a month in advance.

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