Digital Transformation: Smart expands Wifi deployment across Philippines

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As part of efforts to improve internet connectivity in the country, PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. has ramped up the installation of Smart Wifi in more high-traffic areas nationwide, including schools, hospitals, government offices and entertainment hubs.

Carrier-grade Smart Wifi powers high-traffic areas nationwide, such as the MRT and LRT, major airports and transportation hubs, and schools and government offices, among others.

Smart has installed Smart Wifi in schools and universities across the Philippines, including Ateneo de Naga in Bicol, De La Salle University, Holy Cross College in Davao, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, University of Cebu Banilad, West Visayas State University, and University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Engineering and College of Law, among others.

Smart Wifi is now also available in government offices, provincial capitols and city halls around Metro Manila, as well as in Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cavite, Ilocos Norte, Laguna, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Misamis Oriental, among others.

Digital Transformation to ‘Smart Nation’

“By installing Smart Wifi in these important establishments, we are empowering more Filipinos by making quality connectivity more accessible for them to do their school work or access important government services,” said Jovy Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.

“With this extensive roll-out of carrier-grade Smart Wifi across the country, PLDT is leading the country’s digital transformation into a Smart Nation,” he added.

A backhaul capacity of up 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, streaming videos and music, playing online games, and checking out relevant digital content and services online.

Connected Festivals

Smart Wifi has also powered high-traffic areas during local festivities. This October, festival-goers attending the Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City can share their photos and videos on-the-go using Smart Wifi available in Plaza Pershing, RT Lim Boulevard and Paseo del Mar.

Recently, Smart Wifi also powered the Kadayawan Festival in Davao and the Tuna Festival in General Santos.

Since last year, Smart has equipped with carrier-grade Smart Wifi major airports across the country, including the four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as well as transport hubs like bus terminals and seaports.

As of September, Smart has also set up “Smart Spots”, providing high-speed WiFi to restaurants and other establishments in different parts of the country.

“The nationwide rollout of Smart Wifi complements the ongoing network expansion and modernization program across the country. The network upgrade has resulted in significant improvements in voice, SMS, and mobile Internet coverage and quality, particularly on its LTE (Long Term Evolution) service. All these form part of an overarching effort to make the Internet accessible to all,” said Eric R. Alberto, Chief Revenue Officer of PLDT and Smart.

Smart’s LTE network improvement efforts across the country include re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage, and deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle more calls, texts, and ever-increasing mobile data traffic. Smart plans to make LTE progressively available to 95% of cities and municipalities across the country by end-2018.

Smart’s network rollout took a big bulk of PLDT’s ramped-up capital expenditure program of P42.8 billion for 2016, which included the utilization of the new frequencies freed up with the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s telco assets.