PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has boosted its network in Brgy New Leyte, Maco in Davao de Oro to help their public school teachers prepare for the opening of classes. Maco is a town northeast of Davao City.
Following this improvement, public school teachers who need to go online to join the Department of Education’s online webinars can now do so using their mobile phones and the LTE signal now available in their area.
“By optimizing and fine-tuning our network facilities, we have been able to greatly improve our 3G and LTE services, particularly in the view deck area, where teachers go to access the internet. We have also improved our 2G services in the barangay, including the barangay hall,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart Senior Vice President for Network Planning and Engineering.
“This is part of our commitment to help our teachers and support the DepEd’s preparations for the opening of classes under the New Normal,” he added.
These network improvement efforts are part of the preparations being undertaken by PLDT and Smart to help schools and teachers nationwide adopt flexible learning strategies.
Smart has also recently boosted its network services at the University of Mindanao in Davao City, one of the oldest and biggest universities in southern Philippines, by rolling out Multi-Element on Wheels (MEOW) equipment at UM to boost data, voice and SMS experience inside UM.
PLDT and Smart have also continued their fixed and wireless network expansion and upgrades across the country.
As of end-2019, Smart has upgraded to LTE more than 100 towns across Mindanao, including towns in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Customers in Calanogas and Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur, for example, can now reach out to their families and loved ones, access social media, watch videos or play games on their phones using Smart’s newly fired-up LTE network in their area.
As of end-March, Smart has increased the number of 4G/LTE base stations nationwide to 26,000, up 6% from end-2019 and 60% more than end-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, 5% more than end-2019 and up nearly 40% from end-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 are now providing additional capacity for its LTE network.