Leading Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) and Nokia Networks announced the successful completion of the first
EDGE call in the country. Done using the GSM testbed facility of SMART, the test call paves the way for the nationwide deployment of
EDGE in the Philippine carrier's cellular network.
Under a memorandum of understanding, SMART will activate EDGE in its GSM networks upon delivery of the Nokia EDGE software. Since late 2001, SMART has been deploying Nokia GSM equipment such as higher-capacity UltraSite and MetroSite base stations that are upgradeable to General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and EDGE.
"We are pleased to take the next evolutionary step forward in GSM technology while leveraging and maximizing our existing networks. As we strengthen our market leadership, SMART is also bolstering its technology leadership. With EDGE, SMART will bring the quality of our network services to a higher level." said Napoleon L. Nazareno, SMART president and CEO.
"SMART continues to be aggressive in the delivery of leading mobile solutions in the Philippines. This agreement further demonstrates our strong relationship and we are very excited about the nationwide EDGE rollout." explains Markku Nieminen, Account Director for SMART, Nokia
"SMART is taking full advantage of GSM's evolution to higher levels of mobile technology, from the broad range of applications that can
be used globally to the cost-efficient steps in network enhancements, as well as the global economies of scale for handsets," he adds.
"SMART's decision to deploy upgradeable systems early on now allows the Company to make a smooth quick transition to EDGE," said Ramon S.
Fernandez, SMART head for administration and materials management division.
Since 1998, Nokia has been supplying SMART with complete GSM systems and solutions comprising of Nokia Base Station Subsystems, Nokia Operations Support System, Nokia Switching Subsystem, and GPRS Core Network, Nokia Short Message Service Center (SMSC) and Multimedia Messaging Service Center (MMSC). Nokia has also helped to plan,
deploy, integrate and optimize SMART's network solutions and has continuously provided care services that help maintain network
availability and enhance network performance.