Monday, October 18, 2021

PLDT, Smart boost Bohol connectivity

NETWORK UPGRADE. Engineer Marino Romerde, Smart Wireless Field Services (WFS) supervisor and team leader for Bohol, left, and engineer Roneil Jaropjop, WFS supervisor, during a network activity at a Smart cellsite in Tagbilaran City. (Contributed, SMART)

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) have ramped up their network expansion and upgrade efforts in Bohol in time for the celebration of Bohol Day.

To date, all of Bohol’s municipalities are now covered by Smart’s 4G/LTE network, while PLDT has also completed its fiber rollout across the province. This is part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing nationwide network improvement program.

PLDT and Smart are also supporting the Bohol Day celebration by providing connectivity for a free online concert by True Faith which will be livestreamed on Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap’s Facebook Page on July 22. The concert also serves as a donation drive for the benefit of Boholano overseas Filipino workers who lost their jobs and locally stranded individuals.

“With improved connectivity, Boholanos are now better equipped to face the ‘New Normal’ and take advantage of opportunities in digital commerce, remote working and online learning, for example,” said Yap.

“This is part of our commitment to improve customer experience across the country, wherever they may be,” said Mario Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for network planning and engineering.

“Achieving this amid the pandemic has been a team effort among our people in the field who do physical installations and upgrades, as well as those in charge of systems upgrades that can be done remotely,” he added.

Local partners

Tamayo underscored the importance of connectivity and technology amid these difficult times.

“The internet is vital for our customers who need it to stay connected with their families and friends, especially due to the community quarantines, to entertain themselves through video streaming and mobile games, and to work and run their businesses from home safely,” he said.

In addition to network upgrades, PLDT and Smart are also teaming up with local partners to make LTE more accessible to Boholanos.

“We are partnering with our provincial distributor in making LTE more affordable for our Boholano customers with our exclusive discounted Giga offer. We invite them to also upgrade their SIMs and devices to LTE to be able to maximize the Smart LTE network in Bohol,” said Alexis Winters, cluster head/assistant vice president for Smart regional customer development-Visayas.

Fiber infra

As of the end of March, Smart increased the number of 4G/LTE base stations to 26,000, up six percent from the end of 2019 and 60 percent more than at the end of 2018.

PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which supports Smart’s network by providing high-capacity links to LTE base stations, is now at 338,500 kilometers nationwide, five percent more than at end of 2019 and up nearly 40 percent from the end of 2018.

In April, Smart further increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE. As a result, 3,785 base stations of Smart have also been providing additional capacity for its LTE network. (PR)


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