Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Sun Cellular said they have fully restored mobile network service coverage in Metro Manila as of
Thursday morning, a day after Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) lashed the country’s capital as well as parts of Southern Luzon and the Bicol Region.
However, the two firms said network optimization activities are still ongoing and as a result, subscribers may still experience some level of degradation of voice and mobile internet services in certain areas in the National Capital Region.
Smart and Sun Cellular are both subsidiaries of leading telecommunications firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
PLDT said the Central and Northern Luzon services for both Smart and Sun were largely unaffected, while mobile network service coverage in Southern Luzon and Bicol region has been restored to 80 percent of areas hard-hit by the typhoon.
The remaining 20 percent with service disruption is due to prolonged commercial power outage and transmission interruptions because of fiber cuts and misaligned microwave radios, PLDT said.
Globe Telecom said Thursday that mobile services are now up in areas that experienced service disruption Wednesday due to strong winds brought by Typhoon Glenda.
Company efforts to expedite the recovery process, coupled with fairer weather conditions, have allowed the telecommunications provider to restore services in affected areas, said Yoly Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for Corporate Communications.
According to Crisanto, service disruption in areas heavily affected by the typhoon was due mostly to loss of commercial power.
“The power situation remains to be a challenge in areas severely affected by the typhoon and we are providing additional generation sets to mitigate power outage. Additional technical teams from other regions unaffected by the typhoon have also been deployed to aid local teams. We wish to assure our customers that the company continues to expedite the recovery process in affected sites,” Crisanto said.
Globe services in northern Luzon and Metro Manila were generally unaffected.
To help residents in areas severely affected by the typhoon, the telecommunications provider is now providing more Libreng Tawag stations. Globe said it added five more Libreng Tawag and Charging sites in various parts of the country on top of the facilities set up at the Daet Elevated Town Plaza in Daet, Camarines Norte yesterday afternoon.
Fixed line services also being restored
Meanwhile, PLDT said fixed line services are also being restored as repair of damaged facilities are completed and as commercial power comes back online. Currently, 81 percent of fixed line network facilities have been restored, it said.
“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,” Ramon Isberto, PLDT Group spokesperson and Public Affairs head said in a statement.
“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.
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 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.