Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is enabling high-speed mobile broadband services for consumers in the Philippines through a contract with SMART, the country's largest operator. Ericsson is providing broadband technology based on WCDMA/HSPA to upgrade the operator's nationwide GSM network. This is the first commercially deployed HSPA network for the 850MHz band in Southeast Asia.


More than 40 million Filipinos, half of the country's population, are under the age of 21. With such a young and technology-savvy population, the Philippines is a perfect environment for offering mobile broadband services.


With this deployment, SMART is the first operator in Southeast Asia to launch a HSPA network in the 850MHz band. The network uses lower frequencies, which improve the quality of the radio signals, extending coverage and enabling rapid deployment. This makes it easier to provide mobile broadband in remote areas and improves indoor coverage in urban areas.


The HSPA-enabled network allows SMART to offer the highest mobile broadband speeds in the Philippines and enables rapid and cost-effective introduction of new services, including high-speed mobile internet. The advanced technology boosts network capacity and cuts response times for interactive services, increasing the performance of mobile broadband.


Orlando Vea, Chief Wireless Adviser of SMART, says: "We are launching a more versatile network that will put the power of the internet in the pocket of Filipinos wherever they go.  This partnership with Ericsson will enable us to offer our customers exciting services and true mobility that add up to an enhanced communications experience."


Under the agreement, Ericsson is the main supplier of the common GSM/WCDMA/HSPA packet core-data network, including the Service Aware Charging and Control solution which allows mobile broadband fair-usage policies. Ericsson is also one of the main suppliers of the radio access network and provides SMART with services such as network design, network deployment, competence development and systems integration.


Rajendra Pangrekar, President of Ericsson Philippines, says. "This contract represents a milestone for Ericsson by enabling us to launch a commercial HSPA project in the Philippines with one of the largest mobile operators in the region. It reinforces Ericsson's technology leadership and will provide SMART with the fastest mobile broadband speeds available in the country."
                               

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Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 1 billion subscribers and has a leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises of mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.  


Ericsson is advancing its vision of "to be the prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 75,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 209 billion (USD 32.2 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX NASDAQ, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.
 


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About SMART
Smart Communications Inc. is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider, with 36.9 million subscribers on its GSM network as of the end of March 2009.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the country's dominant telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), SMART and its subsidiaries operate a nationwide cellular network, a wireless broadband service, a satellite phone service and mobile commerce services. SMART has the most extensive and modern digital communications GSM network and infrastructure in the country, covering more than 99 percent of the population. SMART's GSM network consists of more than 6400 base stations, more than 2000 of which have been equipped with wireless broadband capability by subsidiary Smart Broadband (SBI). SMART also has more than 1000 3G base stations nationwide.
SMART offers the widest array of cellular service brands designed to address the needs of different market segments.  Of the total subscriber base, more than 21.3 million are under its own brands Smart Buddy, Smart Gold and Infinity. The remaining 15.6 million are serviced through the Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel) subsidiary, under the GSM brand Talk 'N Text. Another subsidiary, SBI, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart Bro, with 596,000 subscribers as of the end of March 2009. SMART has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless data services, including mobile commerce services such as Smart Money, Smart Load and Smart Padala. SMART also offers 3G and HSPA services, and its Smart Link service provides communications to the global maritime industry. 
 
 
About Ericsson's HSPA solution
HSPA stands for High Speed Packet Access. An inherent advantage of HSPA is that the technology is a natural extension of existing WCDMA/GSM networks, which comprise about 85 percent of the world's existing wireless networks. It is therefore widely available to a great many wireless users, creating a mass market for mobile broadband. Ericsson's HSPA mobile broadband solution is part of Ericsson's Full Service Broadband offering. HSPA Evolution technology will offer download speeds over 80Mbps and upload speeds over 20Mbps.