Smart boosts Palawan tourism

Date created 19.04.2018 05:00:05
Smart boosts Palawan tourism

Tourists travelling to Palawan will enjoy improved connectivity as PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) continues to roll-out Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology across the island group, particularly in the capital Puerto Princesa, and in the popular areas of El Nido, San Vicente and Coron.

Smart is putting up more cell sites and is expanding LTE coverage and capacity in the province, particularly in El Nido. This year, Smart is also increasing the number of sites serving customers in Busuanga and Coron.

Palawan is among the country’s top destinations, with 1.8 million tourists visiting in 2018 alone, flying in from countries like South Korea, US, China, and France, to name a few. Travelers troop to major tourist towns Puerto Princesa, Coron, El Nido and San Vicente to experience the islands’ limestone cliffs, lagoons and secluded white-sand beaches.

Since Smart began connecting the islands with LTE last year, and as more customers shift to mobile data and upgrade their devices to LTE, the telco recorded an increase in the number of LTE users in the province.

“The network upgrade and expansion efforts in Palawan are part of our nationwide thrust to bring the best internet service to people across the country,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

“By investing in our network in Palawan, we are working hand-in-hand with partners in connecting the islands, not just by roads, bridges and ports, but by modern communications infrastructure as well,” Tamayo added.

Tourist SIMs

For tourists arriving at the Puerto Princesa airport, Smart is also offering special tourist kits featuring a Smart SIM, a curated guide map of Palawan, discount vouchers from partner establishments, and other freebies.

“With our improved network at Palawan’s key tourist spots, visitors can stay connected with family and friends while on-the-go, and easily share the beauty of the islands to the rest of the world through social media,” said Gia C. Palafox, VP and Head, Customer Development for NCR and Palawan.

“These upgrades also benefit residents, resort operators and tour operators, whose businesses continue to flourish as more tourists come to Palawan amid the improvement of connectivity and mobile data experience,” Palafox added.

Fiber in Palawan

Meanwhile, PLDT has also rolled out fiber-powered broadband services for tourist and other business establishments in El Nido after expanding its fiber facilities in the area, enabling tourists to access crucial online services like hotel and airline booking and electronic banking.

Underpinning PLDT and Smart’s fixed and mobile network roll-out was the expansion of PLDT’s fiber optic transmission and distribution network. PLDT’s fiber footprint, now the most extensive in the country at more than 259,000 kilometers, also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity fiber connections for LTE base stations.

These efforts are backed by a historic-high capital expenditure of P78.4 billion this year. The capex investments are to further expand coverage and to increase capacity to handle the exponential growth in data traffic, with the ultimate aim of delivering the best data customer experience.credit: https://smart.com.ph/

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