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Improved Sun LTE network boosts Cebu families, retailers

by Smart Communications | Feb 07, 2019
Sun LTE retailers in Cebu City have seen increases in sales following network upgrades in their area.
Improved network boosts sales of Sun LTE retailers in Cebu-Kaizer Cajegas1

Cebu-based entrepreneur Kaizer Cajegas runs a busy life. Aside from managing his small business and assisting his customers, he has also been on top of running their household, especially since his mother and his wife left for abroad.

“I’m the only one here left to run all of this,” he said, motioning to his sari-sari store and hardware behind him.

It’s not easy juggling business and family stuff alone, so Kaizer makes it a point to stay in touch with his wife, who is currently working in Hong Kong. “These days, my wife and I talk every night via Viber and Messenger using our phones,” he explained.

A Smart and Sun customer, Kaizer is among those who have benefited from PLDT and Smart’s recent network expansion across Cebu, which includes LTE support for Sun customers as well.

“I have also been using it to communicate with my children’s school,” said Kaizer, adding that his sari-sari store earnings have also been enhanced by Sun LTE’s stronger signal in his area, now that more of his neighbors are loading up their Sun smartphones with data packages.

Convenience store owner Irene Gay, whose JMI store is on F. Ramos, has also noted a spike in her sales following the launch of Sun LTE in Cebu. “Load sales have really increased. Today, we could sell up to P3,000 to P4,000 a day,” she said, adding that most of her customers are young. “They’re usually students who use it for their gimmicks and their schoolwork,” she said.

For Florencia Pavillar, her increased load sales are a welcome addition to the earnings of her small kitchenette on R. Landon St, also in Cebu City. “Before, when there was no LTE yet, we’d use up around P500 worth of load every other day. Today, with people loading up faster and more often, we could reach up to P2,000 for the same period,” she said.

With her kitchenette open 24/7 to students and transient travelers staying in nearby pension houses, Pavillar said they have customers loading up at all hours. “They use data to stay in touch with their families and update their parents,” she said.

Pavillar herself uses Facebook to stay in touch with friends and greet them during their birthdays and other occasions. “My son used to play a lot of games on his phone, but now he’s busy with his job hunt, so he uses it to send out his resume instead,” she said.

This continuous expansion of LTE services for Sun customers in Cebu is part of Smart’s efforts to provide the best mobile data experience to subscribers across the country.

To date, over 80% of cell sites across Cebu now have LTE. In addition to the upgraded network in Metro Cebu, 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.

For the best mobile data 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.

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% 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®, 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.