Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Smart begins nationwide WiMAX roll-out

Smart Communications Inc. (SMART) has taken its first steps to massively deploy WiMAX technology across the country.

The country’s leading wireless services provider has undertaken tests of the powerful wireless broadband platform with equipment manufacturer Motorola, paving the way for rapid rollout of the new network. Motorola is the principal contractor for Clearwire Communications, the leading provider of mobile WiMAX service worldwide.

WiMAX or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless broadband access to a wide area spanning several kilometers.

Smart’s WiMAX deployment, through its subsidiary Smart Broadband, Inc (SBI), is part of the company’s efforts to replicate the success it achieved in cellular phones in the field of wireless broadband Internet.

“It has been our vision to provide Internet for all Filipinos – no matter where they are or what device they’re using,” said Orlando Vea, Smart's chief wireless advisor.

He added that Smart is set to build one of the most extensive WiMAX networks in South East Asia for fixed wireless broadband applications.

Smart’s WiMAX network will complement its high speed packet access (HSPA) network, which is based on the most advanced mobile broadband technology. Smart is one of the only 20 mobile carriers in the world and the only in the region to have deployed HSPA running on 850 MHz.

“With our HSPA, WiMAX, and Canopy networks blanketing the whole country, Smart will have a unique and by far superior combination of wireless broadband networks,” Vea said.

Smart’s WiMAX network will be a key component of its Internet For All initiative including its schools connectivity program. Under the Smart Schools program, the company has connected 250 public elementary and high schools to date.

In partnership with the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Smart has connected an initial batch of 50 public high schools and is now working with the Department of Education in a program to provide connectivity to about 6,600 public high schools across the country. WiMAX uses the 802.16 standard developed by the WiMAX

Forum. It provides a maximum bandwidth speed of up to 70 megabits per second, which is apt for data hungry applications like streaming video.

Since WiMAX covers a wider distance and serves more users at any given time while allowing high speed data access, it can reach to ‘blackout areas’ that currently have no broadband Internet access. It can enable Internet penetration even to the most remote barrios and barangays.

“We will make sure no Filipino family is left behind in terms of Internet access. We have done it with the mobile phone, we will do it again with the Internet,” Vea said.

To date, the company has about 8,700 cell sites across the country, housing various network equipment, including antennae for GSM, HSPA and Canopy. Very soon, these same towers will play host to Smart’s extensive WiMAX network.

For the trial, Smart and Motorola installed the latter’s WAP 450 WiMAX Access Points equipment to a number of cell site towers across the country. The WAP 450 utilizes tower top power amplifiers that can be housed in a small cabinet, allowing for a compact cell site configuration.

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NTC orders triple load life

A SPOKESPERSON for consumer advocacy group TXTPower yesterday welcomed the National Telecommunications’ order to triple the life of prepaid loads.

“This is something they should have done a long time ago,” said Leon Dulce, data visualization team head of the Computer Professionals’ Union.

“We hope the telcos will comply with the order and the NTC should see to it that this is enforced,” he added.

The CPU is a convenor of TXTPower. Dulce said it has recently conducted an online mobile users’ survey “to document cases and complaints regarding mobile use which will be later presented to the NTC,” The survey can be accessed at www.cp-union.com/mobileusers.

“Despite huge profits, mobile users continue to experience poor quality of service from telcos,” he said adding ``users are even robbed of their load.”

Half of the respondents of the survey complained about network access problem, lack of network coverage and expiring and disappearing load credits.

“These are clear indications that even with huge profits, telcos still fail to satisfy mobile users,” Dulce said.

“Expiring and disappearing loads without valid reason is the same as robbing users of their hard-earned money.”

Globe Telecom’s net profit in the first quarter of 2009 is up by 17percent to P4 billion from the previous year’s P3.4 billion. Sun Cellular, the mobile arm of Digitel, has projected its revenues to double this year. PLDT, of which Smart Communications is a subsidiary, also posted healthy profits with a core net income improvement of 9.39 percent to P10.22 billion from P9.34 billion.

“NTC should immediately address these issues. The Senate should also extend their full support to advocacy groups in helping consumers,” said Dulce. He added that CPU and TXTPower launched a consumer hotline today to document complaints. Online reports are available at http://www.cp-union.com/txtpowercenter.

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Ham radio soon to be useless because of BPL

hi guys,

imagine interference on your radio coming in at 40db over S9. this may soon be a reality, making ham radio and other radio services useless.

Meralco and PLDT will soon be testing BPL or broadband over power lines. this will definitely cause interference on the amateur bands. http://business.inquirer.net/money/topstories/view/20090630-213203/PLDT-taps-Meralco-for-new-venture

the Meralco franchise is huge. The 9,337 sq. km. franchise area covers 23 cities and 88 municipalities including Metro Manila, the entire provinces of Bulacan, Rizal and Cavite; parts of the provinces of Laguna, Quezon and Batangas; and 17 barangays in Pampanga. Electrification level in the franchise is 97%. http://www.meralco.com.ph/Corporate/services/franchise.htm

imagine an a huge antenna covering 9,337 sq. km. imagine how huge a signal that will be. it will not only cause interference in that are, it can spill over to other areas, especially if the propagation is good.

so, you do not live in a Meralco franchise area? what will stop your power company from venturing into BPL? how sure are you that they will not go into BPL?

we should put a stop to BPL now. i am not against technology. however, there are "cleaner" technologies for the internet transmission like wifi, cable, fiber optic, telephone line, etc....

radio is not only a hobby. it is useful during emergencies and disasters. of course we know that because we are hams. other services like government, the military, commercial enterprises use radio daily and during disasters.

what should we do? well, we can start by writing NTC, PLDT, Meralco and its officers.

for your convenience, i have prepared a draft letter. cut and paste and,fill in your name and contact information and then email or mail to them.

for love of ham radio, very truly yours,

Eddie Valdez DU1EV

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have read that PLDT and Meralco will be testing broadband over power line BPL in the Malabon area starting August 2009.

I strongly oppose the use of power lines for broadband because of the harmful interference it causes on radio frequencies. The interference will wreak havoc on the HF and VHF bands of the radio spectrum and this will affect commercial, government, military and amateur communications.

I am not opposed to technology. Presently, there are other means for transmission of broadband which do not cause interference like telephone lines, cable, wifi, and fiber optic.

Until and unless BPL technology improves and will not cause interference to the radio spectrum, I shall continue to oppose BPL.

I therefore respectfully request that your plan of using power lines for broadband be terminated.

Very truly yours,


SEND TO oh.acct.mgmt@meralco.com.ph

commissioner@ntc.gov.ph depcom1@ntc.gov.ph


Eddie Valdez

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