Mobile data connection will now be available to residents of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan town in the West Philippine Sea. This, as the PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. powered up its 4G/LTE (long-term evolution) network service in the island.
The announcement was relayed Monday through a statement issued by Smart senior manager for external telecommunications Jose Rosete.
“Residents of Pag-asa Island can now use mobile data to communicate with family members and loved ones via chat apps and video calls, share photos, send emails or watch videos online,” it stated.
Smart initially put up its mobile communications in 2005 through the 2G service on Pag-asa Island, located some 500 kms from Puerto Princesa City.
“The activation of LTE in Pag-asa Island is proof of our continued commitment to give our customers access to our services, wherever in the Philippines they may be, regardless of the challenges,” senior vice president and head of Network Planning and Engineering at PLDT-Smart Mario G. Tamayo was quoted in the statement.
According to the statement, Smart engineer Edbert Aquitania shared a screenshot of the message he received upon firing up the LTE site: “Welcome back to the Philippines!”
The LTE activation in Pag-asa island is part of the continuing rollout of Smart’s LTE services nationwide.
Smart’s ‘high-speed broadband service’ is available in 93% of the country’s cities and municipalities and serves 95% of the population, it added.
Meanwhile, Smart said that in the month of April, it increased the capacity of its LTE network by reallocating its assigned 1800 Mhz frequency from 2G to 4G/LTE; which resulted in 3,785 Smart base stations providing additional capacity for its LTE network.
Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which provides high-capacity links to LTE base stations and is now nearly 360,000 kilometers nationwide, the statement said.