With the purchase of PLDT/Smart of CURE, the company now has a wider band for its 3G network. With the largest spectrum of 15MHz, Smart already uses the 1920-1935MHz and the 2010-2025MHz band. The additional frequencies from CURE would practically double its capacity and pave the way for higher 3G speeds.
According to the disclosure notice sent by PLDT to the SEC, Smart’s acquisition of CURE will allow it to expand its 3G networks:
The acquisition dovetails with Smart’s previously announced plan to provide expanded and enhanced 3G services nationwide, including higher speed wireless broadband services. CURE is envisioned to provide Smart with a platform to offer and provide differentiated 3G services for niche markets.
That statement, coupled with a cryptic information given to me by a Smart rep about their 3G upgrade in the next quarter led me to believe that they may be on the way to upgrading the bandwidth for HSDPA connections from the existing 1.8Mbps to at least 3.6Mbps but could reach up to 7.2Mbps.
I was told this network upgrade will be officially announced as soon as it’s been put in place. The additional 10MHz of frequency in the 2100Mhz band from CURE will effectively increases Smart’s 3G capacity by 67% so the upgrade to 3.6Mbps is the likely scenario.
This might mean faster 3G connections and wider 3G coverage so people in far-flung areas of the Philippines will not have to settle with GPRS/EDGE speeds anymore. Hopefully.
P.S. Also check out our story on “How Smart saved CURE from losing its 3G license” over at PTB.