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PLDT Group beefs up connectivity in Clark Airport

by SMART Public Affairs | Aug 22, 2016
[19 August 2016] PLDT, and wireless unit, Smart Communications, have reinforced the data connectivity in the Clark International Airport to address the need for high-speed internet in one of Luzon’s key gateways outside of Metro Manila.

[19 August 2016] PLDT, and wireless unit, Smart Communications, have reinforced the data connectivity in the Clark International Airport to address the need for high-speed internet in one of Luzon’s key gateways outside of Metro Manila.

The Clark International Airport inside the Clark Special Economic Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga, is the seventh airport nationwide to be installed with the carrier-grade Smart Wifi, and the first in Luzon.  With the upgrade, Smart Wifi users in the airport will now be able to enjoy world-class digital experience that only super speed internet can bring.

The service is now available in the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City; Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental; Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Silay City; Iloilo International Airport in Iloilo City; Roxas Airport in Roxas City; and Zamboanga Airport in Zamboanga City. Soon, Smart Wifi will also be reinforced in all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as in the airports of Cebu, Dumaguete, Kalibo, Caticlan, General Santos, and Laoag.

The airport in Clark was identified by the Department of Transportation as one of 21 key transport hubs for installation of Smart Wifi as outlined in a landmark agreement signed last month by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and PLDT and Smart chairman, president, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan to strengthen data connectivity in airports, seaports, train stations, and bus terminals across the country.

More high traffic areas such as city halls, schools, hospitals, and malls, among others, will be covered by the service over time given the increasing demand for more public Wifi hotspots in the country.

“The deployment in airports is just the first phase of the nationwide rollout for Smart Wifi as we address the need of consumers for more Wifi hotspots amidrising smartphone penetration and data usage.  With a bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second, Smart Wifi users will get to enjoy a seamless digital experience whether surfing the web for their favorite sites, or keeping connected with home and office while travelling,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, FVP and Wireless Consumer Operations Head at Smart.

An initial investment of P1 billion has been earmarked this year for the first phase of the nationwide deployment of Smart Wifi, which will have a minimum backhaul of 1 gigabit. Higher bandwidth will be allocated for bigger transport hubs and sites.

The deployment is backed by PLDT Group's robust and resilient fixed and wireless network infrastructure.

“The sustained deployment of Smart Wifi in key gateways like the Clark International Airport forms part of our commitment to bring the digital experience to more Filipinos by way of high-speed internet.  This is also aligned with our Chairman’s vision of developing Clark as the alternate airport to the congested NAIA,” said Eric R. Alberto, EVP for PLDT/Smart, and president and CEO, ePLDT.

In an interview with Pampanga-based journalists last June, Pangilinan reaffirmed his commitment to fully develop the Clark International Airport, saying it’s a “better option” compared to proposed airports in Cavite and Bulacan.

Government is proposing to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with another airport outside of Metro Manila. The presence of foreign and local ecozone locators in Clark as well as its proximity to Metro Manila makes it a viable alternative to NAIA as the country’s main gateway in Luzon.