Estefania cell tower upgrade set

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Some Smart subscribers in the areas of Estefania, Granada 2, and Vista Alegre in Bacolod City may experience intermittent voice, SMS, and data services from March 19 to 23 with the scheduled conduct of upgrades on a cell tower in Estefania.

In an advisory, Smart Communications Inc. sought for understanding from its subscribers in the area, adding that it will provide further details as they come.

The PLDT and its wireless unit Smart, meanwhile, have been lauded for their contributions to the government’s efforts to streamline processes and transactions, and that they have secured more than 50,000 fixed and wireless permits, as of February 2022.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) cited PLDT and Smart for their “exemplary support and contribution” to ARTA’s flagship program, the National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficiency Measures of Inter-related Agencies (NEHEMIA), which is aimed at reducing the time, cost, requirements, and procedures of government transactions, especially in the telecommunications sector.

“We are proud to partner with government in realizing the goals of NEHEMIA and helping improve the country’s digital infrastructure,” Atty. Aileen Regio, first vice president and head of PLDT’s Regulatory and Strategic Affairs, said in a statement. “We thank ARTA and other government agencies for espousing the interest of the telcos and paving the way for the ramped-up rollout of PLDT’s fiber infrastructure and Smart’s cell sites,” she added.

Government agencies, such as ARTA, the National Telecommunications Commission, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology initiate measures to streamline government permitting guidelines for telecommunications infrastructure.

These initiatives have helped in the telcos’ continued nationwide network buildout to support the connectivity needs of Filipinos in the new normal.

As of end-December 2021, Smart said it increased to nearly 75,400 its total base stations nationwide, supporting 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G customers, from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, including around 7,200 5G base stations. Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure, which was at 743,700 kilometers. | CGC