Smart Philippines gets new frequency bandwidth

Monday, November 2, 2009

THE war between Smart Broadband Inc. (SBI) and Globe Telecom is expected to heat up as the former bagged a new frequency bandwidth from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that would allow them to offer triple play service, a source said. According to the source, the regulator granted SBI 20 megahertz (MHz) in the 2.5-gigahertz (GHz) to 2.7-GHz spectrum. The Internet unit of Smart Communications Inc. was asking for 30MHz in the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz spectrum.

Among the major players in the industry, SBI was the only telecommunications provider without an allocation in the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz.

Globe’s Innove Communications Inc., has 15MHz in the said spectrum, while Liberty Telecommunications Holdings Inc. has 40MHz; Bayan Telecommunications Inc., 5MHz; Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc., 15MHz and e-Telco, 15Mhz.

Besides the 15MHz of Innove, Globe also has 30MHz in the said frequency after its Globe Group of Retirement Fund acquired Altimax Broadcasting Co. Inc., which owns the frequency.

In a letter filed with the NTC, Enrico Español, SBI head of legal and regulatory department said the frequency band will “revolu-tionalize” the way people communicate as it will allow them to stay connected with voice, data and video services or triple play. Español said the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave
Access (WiMAX) services allows the public to be connected in the Internet with high quality audio and video communications for application, especially in education, among other fields.

WiMAX is a technology that provides faster wireless transmission of data and mobile communications. It also offers broadband speed without the need for cables.

With the additional frequency, Orlando Vea, Smart chief wireless advisor, said the company would be able to launch WiMAX next week.

“We have enough frequencies for the moment to launch the service but we still need more,” Vea said.

Earlier, the company acquired the full ownership of Primeworld Digital Systems Inc. (PDSI), which has a 30-megahertz (MHz) bandwidth frequency assignment in the 2300MHz to 2400MHz that can be used to rollout WiMAX nationwide.

In the Philippines, Globe was the first to deploy WiMAX, a technology designed to enable the deployment of wireless broadband access as a cost-efficient alternative to cable and digital subscriber line (DSL).

Globe said its network is considered the first and biggest 2.5-gigahertz WiMAX (802.16e) broadband network in South East Asia. It has about 4,000 subscribers on this network. Its WiMAX service is initially available in selected areas in South Luzon, the National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao.  Read the complete article here


Post a Comment