Major PH telecoms services disrupted

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Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Smart Inc., Sun Cellular and Globe Telecom announced that areas heavily affected by Typhoon Glenda experienced service disruptions Wednesday, primarily because of commercial power outages.

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In its initial network assessment report mobile services, Globe Telecom reported its customers were affected in Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Quezon and Sorsogon.

In a statement, Globe corporate communications head Yoly Crisanto said that the company’s technical personnel were on ground to do immediate restoration of services. Cellsites are equipped with alternate power sources such as batteries and gensets in case of prolonged loss of commercial power. Crisanto reported several cellsite antennas had reportedly been damaged by strong winds, but that no other major infrastructure damage had been reported as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Our on-ground technical team are continuously providing reports and doing site assessments for immediate service recovery,” Crisanto said.

The telecommunications provider had earlier activated regional disaster teams in South Luzon, North Luzon and Metro Manila to address relief operations and assistance.

“We will start putting up libreng tawag ["free call”] centers and relief operations in the affected areas as soon as we get the go signal that it is safe to deploy people there,” Crisanto said.

Meanwhile, the telecom facilities of PLDT, Smart Inc., and Sun Cellular in Metro Manila and in Regions 3,4 and 5 were largely unscathed by Typhoon Glenda, but widespread commercial power outages have disrupted normal services in various areas.

“Though key installations for both fixed-line and mobile networks have standby power, many facilities rely in varying degrees on commercial power. Prolonged outages will thus disrupt normal services once the internal batteries in equipment run out,”

PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto said in a text message.
Both PLDT and Smart have deployed generator sets in strategic areas to keep vital facilities operating and speed up restoration of normal service.

“We wish to ensure that we are exerting every effort to restore normal operations as soon as possible,” Isberto added.

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