LEADING telecommunications and digital services company PLDT has joined forces with the local government of Cebu City and Sinulog Foundation to stage this year's Sinulog, Cebu's grandest festival.
The celebration, which features street parties, concerts, variety shows, and competitions, among other activities, culminates in the Cebu Sinulog Grand Parade, and draws millions of local and foreign tourists each year.
Free Wi-Fi awaits Sinulog revelers in Sinulog Festival sites like the Plaza Independencia, Cebu City Sports Complex, Fuente Osmeña Circle, and Magellan's Cross, one of Cebu's most popular tourist areas.
A "Sun Lounge" has also been set-up at Fun Go Kart along Mango Ave., which features activities from Creative Lab, charging stations, on-the-spot photo printouts, free Para Nimo stickers, and other perks for Sun customers. The hub is open until January 20.
Sun's "Road to Sinulog 2019" activities also showcased the best of Cebu's sights, sounds, and food in the lead up to the festival, with food trips across Cebu's bars and restaurants, and live music events with homegrown musicians and artists.
Recent LTE expansion
Sun subscribers in Cebu have been enjoying improved mobile connectivity as PLDT recently expanded Long Term Evolution (LTE) support for its Sun brand across the Visayas' foremost urban hub.
To date, over 80 percent of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE. In addition to the upgraded network in Metro Cebu, where bulk of the Sinulog festivities will take place, tourists and residents can also use Sun LTE to share photos and videos of their experiences in key tourism areas like Oslob, Moalboal, Daanbantayan, Medellin, Toledo City, Bogo City and Carmen.
Expanded LTE capacity is also available in areas in Cebu City, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Minglanilla and Talisay, while the service has also been rolled out in Badian, Balamban, Barili, Catmon, Madridejos, Sibonga, and Tabuelan.
"This continuous expansion of our LTE services for our Sun customers in Cebu is part of our efforts to provide the best mobile data experience to our subscribers across the country," said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.
"With upgraded networks now in place, residents and tourists in town for the Sinulog can stay connected with their families here and abroad, share their memorable Sinulog experience to the rest of the world through photos and videos, and keep updated with events through online news sites and social media," Tamayo added.
Best Sinulog experience
For the best Sinulog experience, Sun subscribers are encouraged to upgrade their current 3G SIM to an LTE SIM and to avail themselves of Sun's new data promos such as the Sulit Surf Plus 20, which comes with 300MB open access data, unlimited text to all networks, and unlimited SUN, Smart and TNT calls valid for 2 days for only P20. To register, simply dial *121#.
LTE is the best technology to help bring fast, affordable and reliable mobile internet services to as many customers as possible. It is also quickly upgradable to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), which can provide even greater capacity and speeds to users with capable smartphones.
With carrier aggregation (CA), a feature of LTE-A that enables the combination of two or more radio frequency bands, LTE-A can deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds to mobile phone users. 2-Component Carrier (2CC) carrier aggregation features the combination of two frequencies, while 3CC involves the combination of three frequencies and 4CC combines four bands.
In Cebu, major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City, for example, already have 3CC sites.
To date, PLDT's wireless arm Smart has also already fulfilled its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to cover at least 90 percent of cities and municipalities to address the growing demand for broadband infrastructure and internet access within three years from the grant of the use of frequencies by the NTC in 2016. It has also increased its total LTE base station count across the country by 65 percent in the first three quarters of 2018.
On the other hand, PLDT's fiber optic transmission and distribution network, the country's most extensive fiber network at 221,000 kilometers, also provides high-capacity fiber connections for LTE base stations.
For these continuous network upgrade efforts, both PLDT and Smart have been cited by third party firms for being the country's fastest networks. Earlier this year, PLDT and Smart were cited for being the country's fastest fixed and mobile networks for Q1-Q2 2018, respectively, by Ookla(r), the global leader in internet testing and analysis. Mobile analytics firm OpenSignal has also consistently cited Smart for having the country's fastest LTE network for its past four study rounds.
Smart's network transformation program also recently won at the prestigious Global Telecoms Awards in London, under the Telecoms Transformation category, besting entries from Saudi Telecom Company and Huawei, among others. Produced by industry publication Telecoms.com, the awards program recognizes innovation and excellence in the global telecommunications industry.
Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources for network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion. (PR)