PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. forged ahead with the construction of additional Smart cell sites in Northern Cebu as part of its continuous network expansion efforts across the country.
Smart, with the local government units of Bantayan and Liloan in Cebu, held separate groundbreaking ceremonies to formally commence the construction of Smart’s cell sites, which would cater mainly to unserved and underserved areas in these municipalities.
Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, emphasized the importance of expanding the network to support even far-flung communities, despite the current challenges. “Rolling out in an archipelago and in the countryside presents a variety of unique challenges. But we are committed to expanding our network and making sure our technology reaches all communities and have the best customer experience with Smart.”
Connectivity for a #BetterBantayan
Bantayan Island continues to top lists for tourist destinations in the country. However, some tourism corridors in the island still do not have signal or data connectivity. With Smart expanding its network in Barangays Sillon and Oboob, residents and tourists can soon experience the convenience and accessibility of connectivity.
According to Mayor Arthur Despi of Bantayan, the municipality is also set to build roads across their tourism corridors to make the Smart towers in the area more accessible. “We are really thankful to Smart that we are able to take the first step towards the improvement of the island’s communication facilities,” says Mayor Despi. “Through this project, we can also prepare Bantayan to become a place that can offer better job opportunities to our youth, our future workforce,” he added.
Smart’s Corporate Communications VisMin Center Head/AVP, Atty. Maria Jane Paredes said that Smart recognizes the importance of communication in achieving the Local Government Unit of Bantayan’s goals for its constituents. “If these plans are not equipped with actions and infrastructure, like communication, these plans will never be realized,” she said.
“Strong connectivity is one of the first things tourists look for when they visit the island. The availability of cell sites in our barangay will greatly pose a positive impact in our economic and tourism activities, leading our humble barangay to progress,” says Vivian Desales, Barangay Captain of Sillon, adding that another benefit would be the enabling of quicker and more efficient barangay emergency response once the sites are in place.
Smart loves Liloan: More cellsites to be built in the municipality
In Liloan, Smart is set to install additional LTE cell sites in addition to the existing Smart sites in the municipality. These sites will cover residential and commercial areas including the mountainous parts of the municipality, allowing connectivity to become more accessible in various areas of Liloan. Smart has also recently fired up 5G in the town.
“In Liloan, our goal is to ensure the best quality of service as far as connectivity is concerned. Access to connectivity means access to opportunity,” said Mayor Christina Frasco. “I am happy that Smart has finally heeded our call to fulfill such a promise by partnering with us in ensuring that our constituents here in the hinterlands of Liloan have access to internet connectivity–a basic human right especially in the midst of this pandemic,” she added.
Smart pledges to continue supporting the local government units’ need for communication and connectivity, especially in the face of COVID-19 challenges. “Our efforts to build new cell sites continue because Filipinos need to be connected. Smart offers an essential service during this very trying time,” says Lalaine Husain, Smart Area Development Head/ Consumer Sales Senior Manager.
As the demand for connectivity rises, these customer-centric efforts go hand in hand with PLDT and Smart’s continuing efforts to fast-track the rollout and continue the expansion of their integrated fixed and wireless networks and improve coverage to serve far-flung and off-grid areas.
These initiatives are also aligned with Smart’s “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which highlights Smart’s long-running community partnership programs, enabling “personal revolutions” that generate lasting positive impact to society through connectivity and CSR initiatives.
As of end-2020, PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the most extensive in the country, comprised more than 429,000 kilometers. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile networks, which now cover 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.