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SmartBro 3G on its way to HSDPA 3.6Mbps?

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.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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26 Responses

  1. This could be great news… Huwag sana nilang maoverlook ang Bataan. Our province has now a much higher demand for better connectivity than ever before. One of the main thrusts in Bataan right now is I.T. development…

    Check out bataan.gov and see for yourselves guys…

  2. Sleep Heavy says:

    I have been using internet mobile service with smart. I have an N70 thats supposed to have 3G capabilities. To my dismay, the hype is more than the delivery as far as response to surfing is concerned. When peak hours between 9-12pm and 3-6pm happens, there is absolute no way you can get decent surfing. I do not know if Smart needs to tweak something on my phone or anything. Its Just that the service on the internet during these hours are simply atrocious. I don’t really feel any 3G experience that can be so Earth Shattering with the service Delivery I get from smart at this time.

  3. totoy says:

    smart is great.. for only 10 php i can surf the net for 30 mins using my phone.. the connection is merely fast.

  4. neytel says:

    ei totoy can u please help me how to connect internet thru using my n90.. what are the steps??thank you..asap

  5. kfive says:

    with regards to Sleep Heavy’s comment, please check the specs of your mobile phone (Nokia N70), if you can browse Nokia’s website, the N70 phone only provide a maximum broadband speed of 128kbps/384kbps, so in that case, you won’t experience the real 3G of Smart, but if you have another mobile phone, say Nokia N92, which offers 384kbps/384kbps, then you can appreciate 3G efficiently..

  6. mhel says:

    sleep heavy, try downloading opera mini from wap.Getjar.Com, for a very fast and free internet! Im using it instead of my default browser and i am online 24/7 for free on my nokia 3230

  7. rv says:

    Hi meron ba gumagamit ng smart bro from bulacan malolos or bulacan bulacan area?tnx

  8. driftracer85 says:

    I’d say Smart Bro / Smart Mobile Internet works well in HSDPA / 3.5G areas. The problem is that a number of outdoor cellsites of Smart are “down.” Until when will they be down???

    I’d say that you can hit at 1-2 mbps inside malls wherein the cellsites of Smart are 3.5G/HSDPA ready. I have tested the following malls/buildings:

    1. Galleria – 3.5G signal – average of 1.1-1.6 mbps; max 2.1 mbps
    2. Shangrila – 3.5G signal – average of 850 – 1.2 mbps; max 1.4 mbps
    3. SM Megamall – 3.5G signal – average of 1.2-1.7 mbps; max 1.9 mbps
    4. Gateway – 3.5G signal – average of 1.1-1.5 mbps; max 1.9 mbps
    5. Sta. Lucia – 3G signal – average 280-350kbps; max 380 kbps
    6. Riverbanks Mall Marikina – 3.5G signal – average of 1.1-1.7mbps; max 1.8 mbps
    7. SM North The Block – 3.5G signal – average 1.3-2.0 mbps; max 2.6mbps = the fastest ever due to new indoor cellsite type

    Smart has to upgrade some indoor cellsites. Some are still using the old 2G cellsites like in Shangrila. Also, they should make sure the cellsites exposed and not hidden.

  9. michaelortiaga says:

    //mga tol,
    maximum n speed n n experience ko 2.40 mbps using smart bro prepaid & hsdpa signal
    d2 s amin sa camarin caloocan
    (mlapit n kami sa border ng bulacan), wla hsdpa sa labas , but i can get indoor signal by placing my modem near pldt landline. super bilis
    kelangan nga lng modify nyo ung setting
    gwing nyo wcdma 850MHZ ung band nya kci iun ung band ng hsdpa ng smart .

  10. tutoy says:

    effective nga
    happy happy me na

  11. michaelortiaga says:

    //mga tol
    im here in camarin caloocan(near bulacan)
    but i can get hsdpa signal by placing my modem near pldt landline.

    naxperince ko maximum speed n 2.4mbps using my smart bro prepaid & hsdpa signal.

    modify nyo nga lng setting pra mg work

    ung sa tools/network/
    select nyo sa band n wcdma 850MHZ

    iun kci ung band ng smart hsdpa
    super bilis
    i can download 700 mb of data in less than an hour
    compare mo nman sa smart bro plan 999 na 384kbps
    300 mb of data in 1 1/2 hour.

  12. driftracer85 says:

    Hi Michael,

    I think you are right. The bandwidth used must be 850MHZ. Even without the landline, speeds are great. I live in Marikina and I had been bugging Smart Bro CS because of their “Switching Signals” – 3G and HSDPA switching every second. It’s so annoying since whenever the switch occurs, speed is slower than dial-up.

    Thanks to your post, I can now enjoy consistent HSDPA at home.

  13. bryan says:

    the two above me are right.

    i can now enjoy fast internet service for only Php10 for 30 minutes,instead of renting computer use outside, dito nalng ako sa loob ng bahay.

    thanks michael and driftracer85
    your posts helps a lot.

  14. nagiinternet says:

    OMG… i thought CURE will stand on its own as a internet provider.. now that smart bought CURE, the hope of lowering the browsing rates because of competition is doooooommmeddddd…

    masyadong mataas ang internet rates nila…

    imagine, 30mis=php10.00

    an average og 2 hrs a day would cost you php60.00
    (averaging for smart bro is also 3hrs per day.)

    and for tho whole month

    ten te ne nen te nen….

    NAGBABAGANG php 1200.00

    mas mahal pa sa smart bro…

    sana wag nman mxado ganid ang smart.. REMEMBER, GREED ang nagpabagsak sa economiya ng amerika… they shoul have lowered their charges… if they continue at bumagsak sila, bibigyan ko sila ng malaking


  15. Well, I’m not really a cellphone savy although I consider myself computer freak. Anyway, I have a question and I hope that people here might be able to help me answer my question regarding HSPA.

    Today, I came by a Smart Wireless Center and I inquired about their new Share It Unlimited promo (unlimited internet using a SmartBro router, up to 2Mbps of speed, powered by HSPA). My question is, I’m not sure if we have HSPA in our area (Concepcion, Marikina, near Tumana area). And if we do, is the connection speed good enough for us to get of up to 2Mbps of internet speed? I have no 3G phone and I have no plan of getting one, and I do not know of anyone in our area that uses a 3G phone. What should I do? And another thing, the guy above mentioned that he can maximize his internet speed by placing his modem next to his PLDT landline phone. WE DO NOT HAVE A LANDLINE PHONE. I do not know how to check if we have HSPA here.

    You may email me at [email protected].

  16. berto says:

    anybody has experience with joikuspot or wmwifirouter? can skype work on laptop hookup on joikuspot or wmwifirouter or is it blocked by smart or any other providers??

  17. oscar says:

    bkit po ganun???pinabilis po ba ang smart bro prepaid??….eh..pag ginagamit q ang 3G, ang bagal po….kaya GPRS prin aq hanggang ngaun…may paraan po ba para mapablis q ang connection q??? alaminos, laguna lng nmn po itong lugar nmin….bakit mahina ang 3G d2??help plssss!!..thx!

  18. korky says:

    3rd day na ng smartbro hsdpa ko, kanina i had trouble getting online kasi matagal pag hanap ng hsdpa service. baka nag reset server ng nearest site dito :D am in cdo btw and i am 15 min away from d center of d city.

    so far i’m not that happy w/ this pa. i have given 1 week to really test it…then al go berserk! :D

    i’d still recommend d use of wire than wireless coz besides smart’s prioritizing na makabawai kaagad kesa a client gets served…marami pang issues na binubulag bulagan ang public (or is it just me? ambot lang…)

  19. ilokano says:

    hmmm.. bat alang hsdpa na signal d2 sa ilocos sur? sna lagyan din nila d2 kc ang bagal ng 3g signal using smart bro modem… ^^

  20. ollcs alumnit says:

    well, smart is trying itz best nmn to improve their services. particularly as one of the leading isp here in philippines. cguro it will take some several months or maybe years to reach those areas. don’t lose hope. bka pg nreach nila yan cguro nag o-offer n cla ng higher speeds. kya mbuting stick muna s wired internet connection.

  21. michaelortiaga says:

    based on my experience, sun and smart lng best wireless isp dito sa metro manila. in wired conectivity nmn, pldt mydsl pti sky broadband. kso sky broadband is available in selected areas lng. pero if skop nmn un area niu. sky is much better than pldt mydsl.

    kau nlng bhala pumili

  22. michaelortiaga says:

    smart bro wireless pla already reach its newest speed. about 3mbps.

    from recently 1.8mbps, it jump to 2.4mbps, them 2.8, and ngaun 3.2mbps.

    and it continues to evolve.

    w8 lng it will reach 7.2mbps sooner.

  23. Joe says:

    3.2mbps?? that’s good news but I still can’t feel it. The highest speed that I ever got was 1.5mbps which was for a brief second. I guess they just can’t handle the congestion or their networking needs a serious defrag.

  24. cloner says:

    Thinking of getting a SMARTBRO HSDPA? See for yourself…*the rip off!*

  25. ronelm2000 says:

    I’ll buy the HSPDA when I see the Smart bar going maximum bar in 3G in my phone. :P

  26. khoickz says:

    The reality is you see when you look at your browser or download speed check how much the download is… like for example Kbps is different from KBps therefore 3.6Mbps is only equivalent to 450KBps and that can be attain during non-peak hours… try surfing around 1am to 4am and see if you can achieve your desired speed.

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