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PLDT, Smart boost Bohol ICT prospects with network rollout, connectivity solutions

To further improve coverage and capacity and provide better customer experience, PLDT and Smart are also rolling out 32 additional cell sites in Tagbilaran City, Dauis, Panglao, Talibon and 17 more municipalities.

PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. are fast-tracking the rollout of their fiber, LTE and 5G networks in Bohol to boost the province’s competitiveness in the New Normal.

In the 1st Connectivity Online Forum on the prospects for ICT in the province of Bohol led by Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap, various stakeholders including mayors and representatives from the province’s 47 municipalities, the Bohol Chamber of Commerce, National Telecommunications Commission Region 7 and other Bohol executives, as well as representatives from the telco sector discussed ways to fast-track the improvement of internet and wireless connectivity in the province, especially in the outskirts of Bohol.

“We must consider all the challenges, especially on how we can enhance and expand connectivity to benefit micro and macro trade, and to enable government services,” Gov. Yap said. “This requires working together with major telcos as they plan and implement their expansion projects, so that their signal would reach and fully penetrate far-flung barangays, ensuring that data connectivity is fully optimized for all our needs, ranging from governance to communications to online classes.”

Kent De la Calzada, Business Head, Corporate Relationship Management at PLDT Enterprise, shared network updates from both PLDT and Smart, including the expansion of fiber footprint and the firing up of 5G sites in the province.

“To date, we have around 20,000 fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) ports as of June, with the intent to layout fiber across all of Bohol by end of 2022,” De la Calzada said.

“PLDT’s fiber expansion in Bohol, which benefits residential areas and the business sector, is part of the company’s on-going fiber infrastructure rollout across the country. It supports as well Smart’s mobile network in the province by providing high-capacity links for its base stations,” said PLDT First Vice President Vic Tria. “During this time, it is PLDT’s top priority to deliver the much-needed reliable connectivity, both wireless and fiber internet, to support the digital learning and other online needs of the province.”

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Smart 5G in Bohol

After deploying LTE in 100% of Bohol’s cities and municipalities, Smart has also fired up 5G sites in Bohol, including the capital Tagbilaran City, the premier tourist island of Panglao, and the towns of Alicia, Anda, Balilihan, Bien Unido, Buenavista, Calape, Carmen, Clarin, Cortes, Inabanga, Jagna, Loay, Loon, Talibon, Tubigon and Ubay.

To further improve coverage and capacity and provide better customer experience, PLDT and Smart are also rolling out 32 additional cell sites in Tagbilaran City, Dauis, Panglao, Talibon and 17 more municipalities.

Complementing the fixed and wireless rollout is the deployment of carrier-grade Smart WiFi in the province. To date, fast, free and reliable Smart WiFi is available in Bohol Island State University, Tagbilaran Port, Tubigon Port, Ramiro Community Hospital, Dao Integrated Bus Terminal, and Panglao International Airport.

PLDT and Smart have also partnered with Tagbilaran City College, Bohol Wisdom School and St. Therese School of Tagbilaran in providing connectivity solutions and learning management systems to address their online learning needs in the New Normal. 

“The pandemic has spurred all of us to embrace digitalization and adopt new ways of working. Digital technologies have allowed us to work better, faster and more efficiently, even without having to see each other face-to-face,” De La Calzada said.

These initiatives are part of PLDT and Smart’s sustained network rollout nationwide. PLDT operates the country’s most extensive fiber infrastructure, now at more than 511,000 kilometers as of June. This fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile network, which covers 96% of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.

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PLDT and Smart’s 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 and SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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