Restored Telecom Services in Yolanda-Hit Areas

Published: November 26, 2013 | Updated: December 13, 2019 | Posted by: Moneymax | Lifestyle

Globe and Smart Communications, two of the largest telecommunication providers in the Philippines, are continuing to work on fully restoring their network coverage in Yolanda-hit areas. The two companies have also set up free calling stations in the disaster-hit areas to help survivors as they get in touch with friends and relative—not just those in the Philippines but also those abroad.

Globe Telecoms’ Network Restoration Efforts in Visayas

In a November 19 article from GMA, Globe’s chief technical adviser Robert Tan said their work in restoring their network is progressing steadily. In terms of percentage, GMA’s report said Globe has restored 30% of its network in Leyte, 81% in Northern Samar, 40% in Western Samar, 72% in Aklan, 18% in Capiz, and 61% in Antique.
Globe announced last November 22, two weeks after the Typhoon hit central Visayas, that they’ve restored cellular service in 11 more towns in the region. These include Cabucgayan in Biliran, the towns of Leyte, Albuera, Barugo, Capoocan, and Carigara in Leyte province, Sigma in Capiz, Bulwan and Caluya in Aklan, Pandan in Antique, and Ajuy in Iloilo.

The restoration of cellular coverage in those towns follows an earlier announcement of the restoration of cellular services in Borongan, Eastern Samar as well as in other towns in the provinces of Leyte, Antique, and Cebu.
Globe has also set up free call stations in several locations in Yolanda-hit areas. These include two Libreng Tawag Centers in Tacloban City, Mactan, and in the Villamor airbase. They also have 32 free charging stations and free internet facilities spread throughout the Visayas region.

Smart Communications Post-Yolanda Rehabilitation Efforts in Visayas

PLDT Group, the parent company of Smart Communications and Digitel Mobile Philippines (Sun Cellular) is also working to restore network operations in Yolanda-hit areas. Public affairs chief Ramon Isberto told GMA that they’re now at the hard part of the rebuilding process and that they’re “literally climbing mountains to replace damaged equipment and restore transmission lines.”

A November 14 update on Smart’s website regarding their network availability in the Visayas region show that this figure is at 84%. The lowest network availability—as of this update—is in Eastern Samar (23%), Biliran (38%), Leyte (56%). Other areas in the region have network availability upwards of 90% and many of them are at 100% which includes Bohol and Cebu. Bohol and Cebu were also affected by a massive earthquake that rocked these two provinces just weeks before typhoon Yolanda.

To aide in the humanitarian efforts in Eastern Samar, Smart also announced that they deployed an instant network in Borongan City. The system is an ultra-portable mobile phone network with an antenna, foldable mast, industrial computer, and base transceiver station. It is powered up by a generator.

Smart also set up free calling stations throughout the region. These include four stations in Leyte (two in Tacloban City and another two in Ormoc City), five sites in Cebu, and one each in Culasi, Antique, Roxas City, Capiz, and Borongan, Leyte in Eastern Samar.

They also have free mobile phone battery charging stations—six sites in total, with four in Cebu, and one in Ormoc City, Leyte, and another one in Old Buswang, Kalibo.