MANILA, Philippines, July 17, 2014 – Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Sun Cellular have fully restored mobile network service coverage in Metro Manila as of Thursday morning. But network optimization activities are still on-going and as a result, subscribers may experience some level of degradation of voice and mobile Internet services in certain areas in the National Capital Region.
Central and Northern Luzon services for both Smart and Sun were largely unaffected. Meanwhile, mobile network service coverage in Southern Luzon and Bicol region has been restored to 80% of areas hard-hit by Typhoon Glenda. The remaining 20% with service disruption is due to prolonged commercial power outage and transmission interruptions because of fiber cuts and misaligned microwave radios.
PLDT fixed line services are also being restored as repair of damaged facilities are completed and as commercial power comes back online. Currently, 81% of fixed line network facilities have been restored.
“Our engineers have been working round the clock to ensure continuity of services. Because of our continuing efforts to improve network resiliency, we were able to quickly provide mobile phone umbrella coverage to many of the affected areas to compensate for the temporary loss of some of our cell sites,” said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT Group Spokesperson and Public Affairs Head.
"We have also quickly restored links to hard-hit provinces like Sorsogon and Catanduanes. To support our restoration efforts in these areas, we deployed Smart Satellite Services units beforehand to speed up communications among our teams," he added.
Full normalization of services will however also depend on the restoration of commercial power in the affected areas, Isberto explained.
The PLDT official asked for the cooperation of the public in speeding up restoration of communications services.
“We are requesting the public to be careful in clearing fallen trees and posts. Many of the fiber cuts affecting transmission facilities for both fixed and wireless were caused by accidental cutting of cables as fallen trees and other debris are removed after a typhoon,” Isberto said.
To further assist communities and provide residents means to reconnect with loved one, Smart and Sun have deployed additional Libreng Tawag stations this morning in Capantawan, Legazpi City (Top Up Office); Tabaco City (Top Up Mobile Office, Bruselas-Clemena Bldg., Llorente St., Brgy. Quinale); Catanduanes State University, Catanduanes; Sorsosgon Capitol grounds, Sorsogon City and Masbate City (Diversion Terminal, Brgy. Pating).
Residents may continue to avail of the free call services in the following sites: Baytown Market, Brgy. San Isidro, Angono, Rizal; Tonsuya Elementary School, Malabon City.
Through Alagang Kapatid Foundation relief efforts, Smart and Sun also provided for Libreng Tawag in Morong, Bataan; Legazpi City and Sto. Domingo in Albay; and Lopez and Calauag in Quezon.
Free cellphone charging stations will also be opened up within the day in Smart and Sun cellsites in Batangas.
“We are continuously assessing the situation and will set up additional stations, if needed, given the possibility of prolonged commercial power outage in some areas.” added Isberto.