Smart LTE rollout in full swing, fast internet in Metro Manila starts to bear fruit *

Big improvements in speed, coverage in pilot areas, as NCR rollout goes in full swing
 
PLDT mobile unit Smart Communications’ ongoing network rollout in and around Metro Manila is beginning to pay off, starting with the province of Rizal. 
 
According to internal tests done in the first two weeks of February, Smart’s mobile internet coverage and quality in a large portion of Rizal has improved, particularly its 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) service.
 
Average download speeds of Smart’s LTE service jumped 455% to 23.3 Mbps while the average download speed of its 3G service rose by 37% to 3.7 Mbps.
 
As a result, subscriber data usage has also risen in Rizal. Network monitoring shows data usage on LTE doubled during this period, while data usage on 3G has increased by 22%.
 
These marked improvements in the quality and reach of Smart’s mobile internet services in the area are the result of the significant increase in the number of LTE and 3G base stations in Rizal– LTE base stations soared 18 times while 3G base stations more than doubled.
 
“The Rizal results are very promising since they indicate what Smart is looking to achieve for Metro Manila – where we will make mobile data on LTE and 3G as pervasive as possible, providing fast speeds and great quality to all Smart mobile data users,” said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart.
 
In the densely populated areas of Antipolo City and the municipality of Tanay, and along major thoroughfares in the province like Marcos Highway, for example, initial tests show that Smart users are already experiencing improvements in the quality of their mobile internet experience.
 
According to Horn, “these are early results of the rollout, and Smart is still in the process of equipping more base stations in Rizal that use low-frequency bands, to improve the coverage of both LTE and 3G.”
 
“We are asking for people’s patience and understanding while we are making a lot of changes in our network facilities. These activities are being done during the most inactive hours of the day, and we are putting systems in place to keep to a minimum the impact on our subscribers. In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” added Horn.
 
Smart recently announced a major network expansion over the next three months, to quadruple its indoor LTE coverage and double its indoor 3G coverage across all 17 cities of Metro Manila, the country’s capital and also the most densely populated area.
 
To achieve this, Smart is deploying new base station equipment in about 2,500 cell sites across Metro Manila, that use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 900 MHz for its LTE and 3G services, since these frequency bands cover a larger area and provide better indoor signals.
 
The rollout also includes deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz, to increase the capacity of each Smart cell site to handle more calls, texts, and ever-increasing mobile data traffic.
 
According to Horn, Smart started this network overhaul program in Boracay and Metro Davao in the early part of 2016, where subscribers have already reported significant improvements in the coverage and quality of Smart’s mobile data service, particularly for LTE. Activities for both Metro Cebu and Metro Manila are ongoing.
 
Smart has previously announced that it is focused on accelerating the deployment of LTE, because it is all-IP (internet protocol), which delivers a superior data experience.
 
“At the same time, LTE provides us the platform to quickly upgrade to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide greater capacity and much faster data speeds,” added Horn.
 
In the three-year network roll-out plan that parent-company PLDT submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in July last year, Smart said it will make LTE progressively available to users in 1,551 cities and municipalities across the country by end-2018.
 
The plan includes the use of the 700 MHz frequency that Smart obtained access to under a co-use arrangement, after the acquisition of the telecoms business of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) by PLDT and Globe Telecom in May last year.
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Saint Anne College of Lucena tops national cake decorating challenge! *

St. Anne College of Lucena once again bagged the top prize during the recently-concluded Goldilocks Intercollegiate Cake Decorating Challenge (ICDC) held at the Trinoma Activity Center. 

Since 2006, Goldilocks has been staging its annual cake decorating event in order to give college students a venue to showcase their creativity and talents. 

For the ICDC’s 11th year, nearly 100 entries were pre-judged in order to determine the top 11 finalists. After a comprehensive deliberation, the Technological University of the Philippines, Asian College-Quezon City, Pangasinan State University, Lyceum University- Laguna, St. Anne College of Lucena, Calayan Educational Foundation Inc., West Visayas State University, University of Cebu, Western Institute of Technology-Iloilo, Gabriel Taborin College of Davao, and the Holy Cross of Davao College were the schools selected to send their five-man teams to the competition.

The overarching theme of this year’s ICDC was “Fusion”, which meant that the teams had to integrate the arts of fashion, sculpture and painting into three different cake creations corresponding to Wedding, Travel, and Festival motifs. Each team was given only four (4) hours to create cake designs under each category, which resulted in a highly-charged and exciting afternoon. 

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Hero of its kind!

In Review: Hacksaw Ridge (War Drama) (*Oscar 2017 Nominated)
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn

Director: Mel Gibson

Desmond Doss is a born hero! He was the first American soldier who served during World War ll without ever firing or even carrying a weapon. It is a true story that might have mock the US Army back in the time when serving in war was everything there is expected of every able adult male available. It is the slugging premise of Mel Gibson’s latest war picture that has been getting buzz with the upcoming 2017 Academy Awards. Andrew Garfield leads cast playing the reluctant soldier Doss who got the army’s ire after solidly refusing to lift a firearm. Doss believes, being a man of the Bible, God did not sanction his Chrtistian faith to carry firearms. It was a new concept that did not fit in the army’s sense of defense. Doss believed that enlisting in the military, to fight for his country against the Japanese regime, does not entail commiting to carrying a firearm, let alone subjecting to violence. It was interesting how Doss plainly argued in front of a tight lip military court that servicing his country does not necessarily mean joining the frontline fighting. How that came about, and I am sure the Philippine military with ROTC’s revival in this country, is something worth keeping for anyone subjected to entering the military service. Doss did his military tour like everybody else call to duty, again without ever lifting a firearm to kill, this American stayed behind Hacksaw Ridge saving 75 wounded men left for dead following a suicide attack from the Japanese army stationed in the island. The Hacksaw Ridge fight was one of the bloodiest military encouter ever rcorded between American forces and Japanese army during the height of the second World War in 1945. Doss relentlessly stayed at the foot of Hacksaw Ridge overnight, hiding in the shadows while sweepingly saving the lives of soldiers hanging for their lives with Japanese scouring for any sign of enemy life. Gibson shot Hacksaw Ridge with careful reference to Desmond Doss’ principled stance of serving the war without engaging in violence. Desmond, after a full night of bringing down delicately one wounded soldier from a cliff using a knotted rope, became a role model for bravery in Okinawa. He stood by troops braving imminent death, knowing fully there was one person willing to extend his footing to save lives in the pack. Gibson, with his solid grasp of fleeting screen characters, directed Hacksaw Ridge with an all-star ensemble lead by Clash of Titan’s Sam Worthington, V for Vendettas’s Hugo Weaving, and Psycho’s Vince Vaughn. Mel filmed traditionally the Hacksaw Ridge clash with intensity, bringing audience solidly closer to dreadful military tactics the Japanese and American soldiers deployed, killing thousands of young soldiers shell shocked, fighting a war without combat experience. Hacksaw Ridge opens with Gibson’s sneering battlefield grunge preview. Mel’s film style familarly sizes up in ways Forest Gump marvelled screen trailing a on a dull person’s capacity to become equally progressive, if not successul as any God fearing human being. 

Turning Filipino women into effective business entrepreneurs

by Edsel Thadeus O. Lorete / http://inslashout.wordpress.com / http://inslashout.blog.com

Filipino women are joining top business players. They are harnessing income generating skills, heading to the top of the heap, with a woman’s touch. It is working objective seeding the Network of Enterprising Women (NEW), an organization seeking specifically Filipino women to take up the challenge of becoming successful business entity leaders. Established in 2006, NEW was established by self – driven businesswoman Maren Garcia. She was working for a bank for many years, until Garcia realized she was not reaching her full potential as it is. She wanted more out of life, something that would make a proud achievement as a woman. 

But the lack of opportunities, network and information delayed Garcia’s plans. It is what pushed Garcia to establish an organization for women that addresses what women lack in terms of skills and opportunities that allowed women to explore their potential further in running a business. Myren had a coffee shop where she would invite women friends from previous work talk about business prospects ideally for women. It became a forum NEW members to organize events for entreprenuership. The first women behind NEW realized they had similar passions of uplifting women capacity to do busines on their desired terms and conditions. 

NEW began advertising their activities via the internet, with women as their primary participants. “I just wanted a support group to help me find out what business I should venture in, to invite female entrepreneirs and network with suppliers and to have mentors who can teach the group te ins and outs of business,” recalled Myren. In 2008, NEW launched its first Annual Women Entreprebeurs Conference. While group settled promoting their conference via Yahoo groups and Multiplay back then, a newspaper took notice of NEW’s women advocating objectives and became the origanization’s media partners. Nearly 500 women attended conference, allowing the NEW lead conference on business to eventially in succeeding years. Despite the unforseen challenges of member’s attendance NEW persisted in finding the right time and moment for members with group’s established credibility. 

Taking on the women development and empowerment to greater heights in 2017, The Network for Enterprising Women (NEW) will hold its next business for women on March 4, 2017, 8:00am to 12:00noon, at New World Hotel. Dubbed “Entrepreneir in Every Woman” this would be the 10th Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference under NEW. 

Highlighting on how to grow a business for women, the conference highlights business women like Ms. Tess Dimaculangan of the Dimaculangan and Co, a CPA by trade, would talk about managing finances through the fundamentals of handling resources and handling it in real life. Mother entrepreneur Jean Uvero will lead talk on challenges often faced by start-up-companies, particularly approaches avoiding bad choices. Giabella Food’s Miguel de la Rosa will talk about effective marketing and strategies. Marketing financing is expansive but de la Rosa women should overcome this notion by treating marketing as an investment with expected returns. 

 NEW is a group of women whose advocacy is to create an environment where there is a free exchange of ideas, sharing of experience, and opportunity to network. It was founded in 2006 entrepreneur Myren Garcia and a small group of female business starters whose common vocation for empoweing women in business gave birth to the organization’s for women only advocacy.
For detailed information about NEw and the 10th Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference, INSLASHOUT engages interested women to visit NEW’s website http://www.new.com.ph or http://www.facebook.com/newphils or call the following telephone numbers (02) 908-25-58 and/or (0917) 540-86-97. 

Epson Solutions &Technology Convention 2017: Growing the Future of Philippine Business * 

Digital imaging and printing solutions Epson showcased its winning products and solutions in the Epson Solutions & Technology Convention 2017. Held at the Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, the convention offered eye opening and practical solutions supporting local businesses to be competitive amidst economic uncertainties, controlled labor market conditions and increased foreign competition.
 
The one-day event showcases Epson’s intelligent and innovative solutions that will help the business community meet the demands of the future through the integration of self-service, augmented reality, interactive projection and other technologies. It showcases Epson’s solutions across print, projection, label and smart glasses in an enterprise setting; as well as showcases Epson’s latest products in the pipeline. Invited guests include partners, reseller base, media and select customers and end-users from various industries.
 
“The Epson story has always been about creating Inspirational Technology for a Better Future. Always at the heart of these developments is our deep commitment to understand the changing needs of customers. Epson owns innovative technologies that are continuallyexceeding their expectations,” explains Mr. Cris Sanchez, Sales Division Head, Epson Philippines.
 
The Epson convention will demonstrate how the adoption of the company’s print, scan, label and projection solutions will strengthen Philippine businesses in facing the challenges of the future. During the program, Epson experts will provide insights on how to develop a holistic strategy when investing in technology. This integration across devices will help drive cost savings, process improvement and realize gains in productivity. 
 
A guided Solutions Tour will feature several booths on various solutions and applications for every business department including Customer Service, Marketing, Training, Finance and Logistics and Warehouse. Some of the innovation products to be unveiled are the Moveriosmart glasses in the Customer Service booth, Epson’s interactive projectors and large format printers in the Training Department and Marketing Department booths. Epson’s Moverio smart glasses will be used to let guests appreciate the immersive Customer Service experience that the Moverio smart glasses can offer while the interactive projectors and large format printers will be used to show guests the convenience and efficiency of the solutions offered by Epson.
 
“In the past few years, Epson Philippines has gained the leading market share in its key categories, a testimony to the successful product designs and solutions that the company has created and offered to our customers. We hope that through this convention and our other undertakings for the corporate segment, we can help boost the successful integration of technology to Philippine businesses. This way, Epson can be a partner in making Filipino business owners pursue a global approach that will help them flourish, even with stiff competition from local and foreign providers,” concludes Mr. Ed Bonoan, Senior General Manager and Head of Marketing, Epson Philippines. 
 
For local businesses who would want to have an in-depth consultation on their technology requirements, they may reach out to Ms. Sheinne Padilla of Epson Philippines through sheinnep@epc.epson.com.ph
 

About Epson
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 91 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
http://global.epson.com/
 
About Epson Southeast Asia
Since 1982, Epson has developed a strong presence across major markets in Southeast Asia. Led by the regional headquarters, Epson Singapore Pte Ltd., Epson Southeast Asia spans an extensive network of 10 countries, and is responsible for delivering and supporting Epson’s cutting-edge consumer and business digital imaging products to the customers of these markets through its comprehensive infrastructure of over 360 service outlets, 10 Epson solution centres and 8 manufacturing facilities. http://www.epson.com.sg  
 
About Epson Philippines
Epson’s corporate presence in the Philippines commenced in 1998. It grew rapidly into a billion peso company in a span of a few years from its establishment due to its client-oriented approach in its business management style by its dedicated and innovative staff members and officers. Epson Philippines has an extensive network of 77 Authorized Service Centers nationwide with more than 200 dealers and more than 800 shops across the Country. For more details, please visit our website (www.epson.com.ph) or our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/EpsonPhilippines). 
For product inquiries and technical support, please contact Epson Customer Care at: Metro Manila: (02) 441-9030; Toll Free: 1-800-1069-37766 (PLDT), 1-800-3-0037766 (DIGITEL) or visit the Epson Customer Care website: http://customercare.epson.com.ph
 
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Faster internet gaining momentum with telco Smart

Boosted by major network investments undertaken by telco operators in the past year, mobile data speeds in the Philippines have improved, latest findings from the Asia Network Quality Report of J.P. Morgan Securities for the fourth quarter of 2016 show. 

Average LTE download speeds in the country went up to 8.24 Mbps in the last quarter of 2016, from the 7.27 Mbps national LTE average posted in the previous quarter. This is ahead of fellow archipelagic country Indonesia’s LTE average speed of 6.66 Mbps for the same period. 

The same report, which cited crowd-sourced data gathered by wireless coverage research firm OpenSignal, also found that among Philippine carriers, Smart posted the highest overall LTE download speeds at 9.17 Mbps. Smart has also taken the lead in NCR for 3G, with download speeds of 2.85 Mbps, the report shows. LTE download speeds across areas ranged from 7.39 Mbps in the Visayas to 9.99 Mbps in Metro Manila.

 

These improvements have been driven by the stepped up investments of operators to upgrade their data networks. In the case of PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications (Smart), it is now undertaking a nationwide, 3-year network expansion and overhaul program to improve both coverage and quality of service, particularly its LTE service.

 

A major leg of this network expansion is currently underway in Metro Manila and in Metro Cebu, and is expected to significantly boost Smart’s voice, SMS, and mobile data services, specially its indoor LTE coverage, in these urban centers. Earlier, Smart already completed its network overhaul program in Boracay and Metro Davao, where users have already reported improved quality of LTE services.

 

According to initial tests done by Smart, the ongoing network rollout in and around Metro Manila has begun to pay off. For example, tests in Rizal province showed LTE download speeds of up to 18 Mbps. In Cebu, initial speed tests conducted by Smart last week in selected indoor and outdoor areas have also generated download speeds in excess of 20 Mbps, marked improvements from the Open Signal reports in end-2016 for LTE and 3G.

 

Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of parent company PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of $1 billion for 2016, with an additional $100 million allocated to utilize the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.

 

According to Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, Chief Corporate Services Officer at PLDT and Smart, “this rollout is elevating the bar for mobile internet services in the country and serves as a more powerful platform for advanced and relevant digital services that will help transform the country into a more competitive, digitally-empowered nation.”  

 

Progressively better mobile data experience

 

“We are asking for our customers’ patience and understanding while we are making a lot of changes in our network facilities. These activities are being done during the most inactive hours of the day, and we are putting systems in place to keep to a minimum the impact on our subscribers. In the end, our commitment to all our subscribers is that they will enjoy progressively better mobile data services in the next few months, particularly for those using LTE devices,” said Joachim Horn, chief technology and information advisor for PLDT and Smart.

 

Horn added that this acceleration of LTE deployment is because LTE, an all-IP network, delivers superior experience for users, particularly for data. It can also be quickly upgraded to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity. 

 

Smart began rolling out its first LTE-A service in April 2016 in preparation for the rise of bandwidth-heavy services such as video streaming and gaming, using a capability called “Carrier Aggregation”

 

Initially rolled out in Boracay, Smart’s LTE-A service delivers peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps to users with LTE-A capable 

 

“This is a key part of our efforts to transform the PLDT and Smart networks into the country’s most future-ready data infrastructure delivering a wide range of gigabit digital solutions,” Espinosa said.