• Smart, Digitel upgrade Mindanao services

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    Smart Communications and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI) recently completed a series of network synergies that will further enhance coverage and capacity to benefit subscribers of both brands in southern Philippines.

    In a statement, Orlando Vea, co-founder and chief wireless advisor of Smart, and president and chief executive officer of DMPI, said that, “This supercharged network is what allows us to effectively serve the combined Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscriber base, despite its sheer size and offer services that are extremely high in value but very easy on the pockets.”

    The completion of the milestone project places Mindanao at par with the rest of the country.

    Network synergies involve the co-usage of infrastructure between two operators, and have become a growing trend among mobile operators around the world.

    The practice results in marked improvement in network coverage, as each operator gets to use cell sites of the other operator and vice versa. It optimizes the resources of participating networks, and reduces the need to build new infrastructure.

    Smart’s network synergy project with Sun Cellular started in April, covering 25 provinces in Mindanao, including Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

    With the completion of the project, both Smart and Sun Cellular have leveraged on the use of close to 1,300 sites in the country’s second-largest island.

    Sun Cellular subscribers, in particular, stand to benefit from the project as the network increased its second generation (2G) coverage by 152 percent, and its third generation (3G) coverage by 64 percent in Mindanao. This way, Sun Cellular subscribers are set to experience a more resilient, modernized network with better accessibility and improved data services.

    For its part, the network of Smart expanded its existing capacity, gaining 35 percent in its 2G coverage and a 57- percent jump in 3G coverage in the area.

    The network synergy project was a logical course of action for both mobile services providers when Smart parent company Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. acquired a majority stake in Digitel Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel), the parent company of Sun Cellular, in October 2011.

    “While still separate companies, more and more we are leveraging on the combined strengths of Smart and DMPI, and translating them into a tri-net strategy that benefits our subscribers,” Vea said.

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