Smart enhances one of the LRT's busiest stations by beefing up connectivity and transforming the hub into another customer touchpoint.
The roughly half-million people who take the Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line-1 can look forward to progressively better mobile phone services during their daily commute as PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) beefs up cellular and Wifi coverage in the vital transport system.
As part of this effort, Smart helped upgrade the EDSA Station of LRT-1 by equipping it with enhanced Smart Wifi coverage. Commuters using the station can enjoy Smart Wifi for initial free minutes or purchase Smart Wifi PINs if they need to connect for a longer period of time.
“By providing better WiFi coverage in high traffic areas such as the LRT-1, we can help make the commuting experience for people more pleasant and productive. They can use the travel time to catch up with their social media conversations or their office emails on their mobile phones. They can also learn about the growing range of services that we offer our customers," said Ramon R. Isberto, head of PLDT and Smart Public Affairs.
“Our enhanced Smart Wifi coverage for LRT-1 complements our ongoing program to deploy high-speed LTE mobile phone coverage in Metro Manila," he added.
“With the ramped-up rollout of carrier-grade Smart Wifi, PLDT and Smart are leading the country’s digital transformation through better connectivity for all,” said Jovy Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.
“We are helping improve crucial areas like the LRT-1 to better serve the riding public. Through this, we are enabling more Filipino commuters, who can now enjoy mobile internet on-the-go on their smartphones using our wide array of data products, such as Giga Surf, Video TimeOut and Game Time,” said Alex O. Caeg, SVP & head of Consumer Business for Customer Development.
Carrier-grade Smart Wifi is available in Metro Manila and 40 other provinces, following Smart’s ramped-up roll-out of the service in the government offices, hospitals, schools, restaurants, airports and transportation hubs, and other key high-traffic areas across the country.
Smart has also completed the upgrade of 4,200 3G and LTE sites across the country, with 90% of sites in Metro Manila already with LTE as of end-2017, moving closer toward fulfilling its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to attain 90% municipality coverage for 3G and 4G mobile broadband by the end of this year.
For a better LRT commute experience
Last year, Smart announced that it was upgrading its cellular network coverage in the LRT Line 1 as part of a broad initiative to improve the mobile experience of LRT commuters. LRT-1 is being managed by Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), partly owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which is an affiliate of Smart.
Apart from powering LRT-1’s Edsa Station, carrier-grade Smart Wifi has also been installed at the Doroteo Jose, Abad Santos, Gil Puyat, Pedro Gil, R. Papa and U.N. Avenue stations.
“Carrier-grade” means that the Smart Wifi network is highly reliable, well-tested, highly available and support most services and devices.
A backhaul capacity of up to 100 megabits per second (expandable to 1 gigabit per second) allows users to have the best digital experience when accessing their emails and social media accounts, downloading and sending files on-the-go, and checking out relevant digital content and services online.
P500-million Station Improvement Program
LRMC has committed to rehabilitate the LRT-1 with a P500-million Station Improvement Program, which includes the physical upgrade of the stations to improve accessibility, safety and security of over 500,000 passengers daily.
The improvement works also include steps to address ambiance, standardization of way finding and passenger information systems and convenience.
Since launching the improved Doroteo Jose Station in 2016, LRMC has completed the improvements of five other stations: Pedro Gil, Gil Puyat, U.N. Avenue, R. Papa and Abad Santos. Completion of the station improvements project is targeted mid-2019.
The Station Improvement Program is complemented with the enhancement of the advertising environment in the stations, which includes the installation of LED billboards, large format digital displays and video walls at the stations.
Under the program, Smart is turning the EDSA station, which has an average foot traffic of 55,000 a day, into another touchpoint to inform consumers about products and services they can enjoy for a more productive commuting experience.
For example, commuters can subscribe to Giga Surf 50, which offers 1GB open access data plus 300MB for video streaming and unlimited texts to all networks, valid for three days for Php50. This allows commuters waiting in line to check their email, message friends using chat apps, or collaborate with colleagues for their work presentation on their smartphone, among others.
On the other hand, passengers who prefer watching the latest trending viral videos while on the go can simply subscribe to Video TimeOut 10, which offers one hour of YouTube access for Php10.
Smart also offers Game Time 50, which provides mobile users with seven days of access to top mobile games including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor, and EverWing for Php50.
The Smart Wifi and Smart LTE roll-out are components of PLDT’s five-year network expansion program, and form part of an overarching effort to make the Internet accessible to all.