PN File

PLDT and its wireless affiliate Smart Communications, Inc. are expanding the coverage of its fiber and wireless networks in the province of Palawan.

Smart said in a statement it has opened additional sites across the province’s main island, including the capital city of Puerto Princesa, as well as the municipalities of Narra, Sofronio Espanola, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, and Aborlan, as of June.

It said it has launched 5G sites across Palawan, particularly in Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Coron, San Vicente, Roxas, Narra, Aborlan, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, Taytay, Sofronio Española, Cuyo, Rizal, and Quezon, after successfully deploying LTE in all of the province’s towns, including the country’s most remote cell site in Pag-Asa island in the West Philippine Sea.

Outside of Puerto Princesa, PLDT has expanded its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure, primarily in San Vicente, Roxas, Taytay, Narra, and Aborlan.

Thousands of homes and businesses now have access to fiber, the most reliable and fastest internet access available. PLDT has also upgraded its FTTH connection in Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan’s most popular tourist destination.

“This is part of our commitment to deliver world-class customer experience across the country, notwithstanding the challenges of rolling out our network in an archipelago,” said Mario G. Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart, in the statement.

“With these developments, our customers in Palawan, including those in previously underserved areas, can experience improved data service, which is essential as the country transitions into the New Normal. Reliable connectivity is important in enabling families to stay in touch amid social distancing, employees to work safely from home, and students to participate in online learning,” he added.

As a result of these network enhancements, he explained, connection speeds in Palawan have more than doubled for fixed users and improved by 27% for wireless consumers between January and May 2021 this year, according to internal data.

These endeavors are part of PLDT’s and Smart’s ongoing construction of the country’s largest fully integrated network. Smart’s mobile network, which reaches 96 percent of the country’s population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, has also been named the fastest in the country by third-party analytics organizations such as Ookla and Opensignal. PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, the country’s most extensive at over 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021, is enabling these mobile networks.

PLDT and Smart’s relentless push to provide connectivity for all is aligned with the group’s long-standing commitment to help the Philippines attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.