Smart Communications in the Philippines has deployed Ericsson’s MINI-LINK long haul product to boost its LTE coverage in the country’s northernmost province of Batanes.
Announced last week, the LTE deployment in the rugged and mountainous terrain of Batanes involved using multiple microwave hops, including the longest microwave hop in the country at 128 kilometers.
“This gigabit microwave hop is set up using Ericsson’s commercially available MINI-LINK LH and boosts Smart’s LTE coverage in the Philippines, even in remote areas like the Batanes group of islands,” said Martin Wiktorin, Ericsson Philippines Country Unit Head. “At a hop length of 128 kilometers, this is the longest 1.6Gbps inter-island packet microwave hop deployed by Ericsson globally.”
Batanes, a mini-archipelago of 10 islands, is home to more than 17,000 Filipinos. It receives an estimated 4,000 tourists a month and is on the UNESCO Tentative List for Inscription in the World Heritage List.
“Smart is now the first operator to have LTE in the country’s northernmost province,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT and Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering. “This is part of Smart’s commitment to bring mobile internet to more than 90 percent of the country’s municipalities by the end of this year.”
Apart from a boost in tourism, improved connectivity will also create opportunities for the people of Batanes, such as teachers looking to download supplementary educational materials for their students, or local businesses searching for tips on how to improve their products and services.
MINI-LINK LH, Ericsson’s long-haul product in the MINI-LINK family, contains an integrated high capacity Ethernet switch and provides Native Ethernet and TDM supporting the evolution to all-IP. Ericsson’s trunk radio systems provide best-in class-spectrum efficiency and make the most out of available frequency spectrum.