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PLDT, Smart enjoin customers to report equipment theft, pilferage

Since January this year, thousands of batteries have been reported stolen from Smart cell sites, with more than 600 incidents logged nationwide.

To further improve customer experience, PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), ramp up efforts to curb incidents that disrupt wireless services, including theft of network components such as batteries, fuel, generators and equipment cabinets.

Since January this year, thousands of batteries have been reported stolen from Smart cell sites, with more than 600 incidents logged nationwide. High-capacity batteries, which serve as emergency power for cell sites, end up being sold online and used as backup power storage for solar equipment setups. Reports submitted to authorities indicate forced entry into Smart’s secured premises.

“PLDT and Smart are working closely with our local authorities and local government units to ensure the safety and security of our network equipment such as cables and cell site batteries, because they are vital to the unhampered delivery of fiber, LTE and 5G services to our customers,” said Roderick S. Santiago, PLDT Network Head.

“We also encourage our customers to help us by reporting similar activities, including the resale of these batteries, in their respective areas. Together, we can ensure that our communities can stay safe and connected,” he added. Customers can report such incidents to PLDT’s Asset Protection team via Hotline 164 (just dial 164) from their PLDT landline or Smart mobile.

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With rampant illegal activities also affecting its fiber optic cables all over the country, the PLDT group is also spearheading an industry-wide alliance for the mutual protection of telecommunications infrastructure. Through the establishment of the National Telecommunications Security Council, corporate security professionals from different telcos nationwide can share best practices and intelligence information, and coordinate activities against the common threat posed by thieves and other perpetrators.

PLDT’s intensified asset protection initiatives, which include the use of analytics in allocating security resources and teaming up with “force multipliers” in local government, police, and other industry security groups, among others, have resulted to the reduction of loss incidents (down 55%) and increase of apprehensions (up 45%) between April and July 2022 alone.

These initiatives are part of the PLDT group’s continuing effort to further improve the quality of customer experience nationwide. Smart’s mobile network has 76,600 total base stations nationwide, providing 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G to customers from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi. The Smart mobile network is supported by PLDT’s 837,000-kilometer fiber network laid across, over and under the country’s rugged terrain.

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